News Brief

Songhoy Blues Announce Their Upcoming Album and Share New Single, 'Bamako'

Psychedelic Malian rock group, Songhoy Blues have announced the release of their sophomore album 'Résistance.'

Psychedelic Malian rock group, Songhoy Blues, announce the release of their upcoming sophomore album Résistance, due out on June 16. The new album will feature guest appearances from Iggy Pop, Elf Kid and more.


"The album is the sound of Songhoy Blues stretching themselves, with hints of R&B, soul and hip-hop all fusing seamlessly with the band’s trademark exuberant sound, with themes for our time," read the press release.

While their debut album, Music in Exile, boldly tackled matters of Islamic extremism and other social issues facing the people of Mali, their new album is a more celebratory offering, which sees the group "lovingly talking about the beauty of the Sahara and night-life in Bamako."

"Lyrically and sonically, Résistance is a huge leap forward for Songhoy Blues, a musical snapshot of a band at the top of their game. Richer, more eclectic and musically adventurous, it captures a band who, for the last three years, have toured the world and soaked up music far beyond the borders of their native Mali."

The group shares the album's first single "Bamako," an ode to Mali's bustling capital ahead of the upcoming release.

With ‘Bamako’ we just wanted to write something fun and positive about where we come from," says lead vocalist Aliou Touré. "So much of what people hear about Africa is negative; bad news stories about war and famine just dominate the common image of Africa. But this track is about dispelling that image by describing something everyone can relate to – going out on a Saturday night – to show that Africa isn't just what people see in the news, there's so much more to it than that.”

Listen to the single below to get a taste of what you can expect from Résistance, and check out the album's full track list, plus Songhoy Blue's upcoming US tour dates underneath.

Songhoy Blues Résistance Track List:

1. Voter

2. Bamako

3. Sahara (featuring Iggy Pop)

4. Yersi Yadda

5. Hometown

6. Badji

7. Dabari

8. Ici Bas

9. Ir Ma Sobay

10. Mali Nord (featuring Elf Kid)

11. Alhakou

12. One Colour

Songhoy Blues US Tour Dates:

September 28, Washington, DC, U Street Music Hall

September 29, New York, NY, Bowery Ballroom

September 30, Boston, MA, City Winery

October 1, Montreal, QC, L'Astral

October 3, Toronto, ON, The Mod Club

October 5, Chicago, IL, Lincoln Hall

October 6, Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin-Madison: The Sett

October 7, Minneapolis, MN, Cedar Cultural Center

October 10, Nashville, TN, The Basement East

October 11, Atlanta, GA, City Winery Atlanta

October 12, Oxford, MS, Proud Larry's

October 13, New Orleans, LA, Tipitina's Uptown

October 18, Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up Tavern

October 19, Los Angeles, CA, Teragram Ballroom

October 20, San Francisco, CA, Bimbo's 365 Club

October 24, Eugene, OR, WOW Hall

October 25, Portland, OR, Doug Fir Lounge

October 26, Seattle, WA, The Crocodile

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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