July 20, 2017

Oumar Konate | Oumar Live In America

ARTIST: Oumar Konate
TITLE: Oumar Live In America
LABEL: Clermont Music
Malian guitarist Oumar Konate and his trio toured the USA coast-to-coast in 2014 – one of their stops was at Balliceaux here in Richmond. The tour is documented on this, Konate’s third album as a leader. In the now-crowded desert blues musical landscape, this band stands out as an old-fashioned rock power trio: thudding bass, busy and technical drumming, shredding guitar solos. Where many Malian guitarists are influenced by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits (how that came to pass would be a good PhD dissertation topic), Konate is more of a Clapton-Hendrix kinda guy. And this set is more Are You Experienced than Electric Ladyland: songs and solos are generally pretty concise. Track 1 gets the set started on the right foot – it sounds like a campfire-side acoustic number that’s been rearranged for power trio, complete with surprising guitar squalls and drum fills. 6 rocks out hard from beginning to end with some of Konate’s most inspired riffing. 3 is a deep blues set to a modified reggae rhythm, flavored with overdriven guitar. This isn’t a one-trick trio: they turn the amps down from 11 on the last two tracks and sound just as compelling that way.
TOP TRACKS:    1    3    6    10    11
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    2    4    5    7    8

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