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By the time of his death in 2010, at the age of 49, Lobi Traoré had become one of Mali’s most celebrated blues guitarists.

But this rough-around-the-edges live recording, at the rough-around-the-edges Bar Bozo in 1995, captures him at his peak. For the opening ‘Ni Tugula Mogo Mi Ko’, he simply accompanies himself with a repeating riff as he sings and the audience call in appreciation. Thereafter he leads a small, supple band.

Lobi Traoré

Bamako Nights

(Glitterbeat)

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