Saturday, February 18, 2017

Don't Tread On Me: Khaira Arby and "Sourgou"

Khaira Arby brings us today's song, called Sourgou. From the northern deserts of Mali, Arby resided in Timbuktu and had to flee after the fundamentalist Islamic takeover of that city. Often called the Queen of Desert Rock, she is a cousin to the great Ali Farka Touré. She uses a varied assortment of instrumentation, such as electric guitar, calabash, traditional violin, acoustic guitar and drumming, and she sings in languages such as Sonrai, Arabic and Tamashek. She is the only singer in her family, and started singing when she was eleven years old. Before working with her own band, she performed with the Troupe du Cercle de Tomboctou and later the Troupe Regionale de Gao. Sourgou is from her 2013 release Timbuktu Tarab. The song recounts the Tamasheks’ struggle against colonial domination.