Toubalbero is a huge upgrade from Sidi Tourés Songhoy folk blues album 5 years ago.
Sidi Touré is now electro-acoustic, alongside up and coming adept musicians, Djadjé Traoré on electric guitar, and Mamadou “Mandou” Kone who also tours with Vieux Farka Toure is on drums.
On the Ngoni, Ousmane “Papou” Dagnon is really impressive , the traditional stringed West African instrument, keeps this release resounding true to its Malian and Saharan roots.
With melodic vocals, yips and yells from Sidi Touré and backing vocals by Babou Diallo, stories are told of local legends and traditions, and of love and unfortunate souls.
Straight from the first track “Hendjero Moulaye”, the quick paced ngoni and the verve of the guitars which are quite distorted in places recycle lead and rhythm creating an enthusiastic expectancy which continues throughout the whole album.
Sidi Touré would have been forgiven for producing songs reflecting the political and hardships Malians have endured in recent times.
However, “Heyyeya,” means a shout of joy, and “Toubalbero” is named after a large drum used to gather people in Gao, Mali
This album is upbeat, joyous and will gather recognition as one of best and exciting sounds ever to come out of the Sahel region.