AMADOU & MARIAM'S NEW ALBUM, WELCOME TO MALI
TO BE RELEASED IN THE U.S. MARCH 24 BY BECAUSE MUSIC/NONESUCH RECORDS
The singer Mariam Doumbia and her husband, the guitarist/vocalist Amadou Bagayoko, have been making music together since they first met and fell in love at the Institute for Young Blind People in Bamako, Mali's capital, three decades ago. Over the last few years, they have achieved remarkable critical and popular acclaim in Europe and North America. They now perform to crowds of thousands (often tens of thousands) in cities worldwide. Three years in the making, Amadou & Mariam's new album, Welcome to Mali, has just been released in the U.K. and is being embraced as enthusiastically as its predecessor, the breakthrough Dimanche à Bamako. Because Music/Nonesuch Records will release Welcome to Mali in the U.S. on March 24, 2009. (Spring U.S. tour dates will be announced soon.)
|Amadou & Mariam|
The new recording's opening track, "Sabali," shows Amadou & Mariam investigating new ideas from those on Dimanche à Bamako, the 2005 album they made in close collaboration with Manu Chao. "Sabali" is produced by Damon Albarn, who is intimately familiar with the West African blues at the heart of the duo's sound; he brings to the song a hip-hop rhythm and electronic elements more akin to his Gorillaz productions than to anything traditionally Malian. The rest of Welcome to Mali is produced by Amadou & Mariam's longtime collaborators Marc-Antoine Moreau and Lauren Jais, who help the duo integrate a diversity of other artists and sounds: the hip-hop of K'Naan and Keziah Jones, the virtuosic kora playing of Nonesuch label mate Toumani Diabate, the funk of Juan Rozoff, the reggae of Côte d'Ivoire's Tiken Jah Fakoly, and the indie rock of Mathieu Chedid, who is well-known in France simply as M. The duo recorded the album in Bamako, Dakar, Paris, and London.
Amadou & Mariam are especially beloved for their live shows. They recently performed in the Africa Express event that was part of the BBC Electric Proms festival; the concert also featured Johnny Marr, The Magic Numbers, Damon Albarn, and Hard-Fi as well as numerous African artists. Amadou & Mariam have a slew of European dates available here, U.S. tour dates will be announced soon.
Get a taste of the first single "Sabali" now!