Vieux “Farka” Touré

6a00d8341f7e1253ef00e54f23b3818834-800wiI was surprized to realize that Ali Farka Touré died last year from bone cancer at the age of 67. I always thought that he had to be in his mid-fifties. I guess we expect people to live forever, or at least as long as we do. Fortunately, his son Vieux has followed in his father’s footsteps as another great Malian blues master. Ernesto and I saw Vieux Farka Touré and his band at the Cedar Cultural Center tonight. They are the kind of group, much like a lot of west African groups, that could very well play until the sun rises. Vieux spoke a few words in English, so his bass-playing counterpart filled in here and there. He said that, typically a son is named “Vieux”, or “old”, in honor of his grandfather. The bass player also pointed out that Vieux periodically changes keys throughout the set, assuming that everyone else will follow. I suppose he earned the same nickname “Farka” as his father. “Farka” means donkey. Just like his father, he is stubborn like a donkey; nobody will ever ride him! It was a very good show.

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