Every day at KEXP, we're witnesses to the gifts of musicians from around the world. On one balmy day in Seattle, the bluesy, hypnotic spirit of Sidi Touré brought something extraordinary, as he offered an intimate look into the spiritual influences that guided the creation of Koïma, his newest album.
"Koïma" means "Go Hear," but it also refers to a sand dune in Gao, Mali — which Touré told us is the meeting place for the most powerful religious leaders in the world. As I listened to the tap of the calabash cutting over the sokou while the guitar gracefully balanced the timbre during "Maïmouna," it was clear that this just wasn't beautiful music; this was a man channeling the spiritual source of his art and his presence in Gao. It was hard not to be swept away by the beauty.