Check out this rare live footage of Ali Farka Touré



The Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré was often compared by Western writers in the 1980s and '90s to blues greats like John Lee Hooker or Mississippi Fred McDowell for his repetitive droning style and the hypnotic, bluesy heaviness of his work. Here in these two videos, he appears to be performing in London for ex-pats and cognoscenti alike in this professionally-shot spot . I am throwing part two up first because it has two amazing electric songs, "Lalayche" and "Hegana." The subtitles are nice, though a bit more camera time for the percussionist/ singer would be cool. It's hard to argue with the best footage of this musical genius, though.

The first bit (posted below) is super worth watching also! I really wish I'd seen him perform. Even his later, watered-down, Dad-friendly records made with the likes of Ry Cooder are great. His handful of African-recorded albums from the 1970s and '80s are as essential as they are difficult to obtain.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.