Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Joking Around: Habib Koité and "Baro"

Today's song, Baro, comes to us from Mali. Habib Koité is a Sengalese singer, songwriter and guitarist based in Mali whose band, Bamada, is a supergroup of West African musicians. Koité is an unusual guitarist, tuning his guitar on a pentatonic scale and playing on open strings like one would play an African n'goni. His styles can often sound like blues and flamenco. His singing is more relaxed and intimate as compared with his contemporaries. Baro can be found on his 2001 album of the same name and on the Putumayo compilation CD Acoustic Africa. Title of the song means "The Chat," and talks about the Malian tradition of joking around with each other which in turn helps foster social peace and harmony between people and groups.