20 July 2009

Monday's mp3: Bo Diddley in Gambia

Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara: Tell No Lies
(Real World Records)

One reviewer described the music of Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara as "Ali Farka Toure on speed." In truth it's more like a band of wandering Africans crashing a blues night somewhere in Mississippi. Or perhaps Bo Diddley jamming with locals in The Gambia. The unmistakable African roots come with Camara's Gambian heritage and experience. And the hard-edged blues/rock guitar comes from Adams' years in punk and rock. How they came together is a long story that passes through Jah Wobble, Bill Laswell, the Festival in the Desert, and Robert Plant.Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara - Tell No Lies - on SoundRoots.org

The resulting music is sometimes like a deep-blue, Africanized Muddy Waters (check out the African fiddle on the smoldering "Fulani Coochie Man"). On the other end of the spectrum is the upbeat song of love, or at least infaturation, "Banjul Girl." Perhaps the most striking song is "Kele Kele / No Passport No Visa," which manages to marry a Bo Diddley beat

Ali Farka Toure fans will find this land of guitar-laced African music familiar territory, as will those fond of Tinariwen and Ba Cissoko. Somehow Adams' guitars and Camara's ritti (one stringed fiddle) and kologo (two-stringed banjo) just sound destined to play together. This entrancing disk is the duo's second recording, after 2007's Soul Science (which you'll find on our 2007 Top 10 list, by the way).

[mp3] Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara: Kele Kele / No Passport No Visa
from the album Tell No Lies

Adams & Camara are currently touring; They'll be at the Lincoln Center Festival July 21, Seattle's Jazz Alley July 22, and the Calgary Folk Festival July 24-26, then off to Europe for additional dates.

more Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara
Justin Adams myspace
Juldeh Camara myspace
Tell No Lies promo/interview video

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