When: Wed., Sept. 7, 8 p.m. 2011
Malian guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Toure, son of the great Ali Farka Toure, has worked with American producers on all his records, so it was only a matter of time before his rising fame created opportunities for crossover collaboration. On his recent third album, The Secret (Six Degrees), this means we get the imploring sitarlike slide guitar of Derek Trucks, the jazz-funk grooves of Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno (who produced the album) and organist Ivan Neville, and the irritating nasal singing of Dave Matthews (who, let us not forget, was born in South Africa). Remarkably, among all the guest turns, only Matthews's pedestrian English-language verses suck any of the life and style out of Toure's hypnotic, rippling grooves. Songs like "Ali" and the title track (where he makes like Natalie Cole and collaborates with dad from beyond the grave) use the traditional combo of clip-clop calabash percussion, chanted melodies, snaking guitar, and terse n'goni commentary, but most of the tunes are louder and more rocking, with searing guitar solos, propulsive kit drumming, and extroverted, soul-kissed singing. Toure has the talent and charisma to make both approaches work—he certainly doesn't need guest stars crowding him. Onstage he plays in a "power trio" with bassist Mamadou Sidibe and drummer-percussionist Tim Keiper. —Peter Margasak Jeff Parker opens.