Guitarists Habib Koité and Eric Bibb met a decade or so ago while recording the album Mali to Memphis, which details the numerous musical links between the West African nation and American blues. Malian Koité, steeped in tradition but also cognizant of contemporary pop, and Bibb, a blues- and folk-influenced New Yorker long based in Sweden, reconnected in the Malian capital to record the just-released Brothers in Bamako, and subsequently set off on this U.S. tour. The album features tunes by each plus a handful written together, including one in tribute to Timbuktu, the cultural center only last month liberated from repressive Islamic extremists. But what's really special about their collaboration is the way each's soulful voice naturally sidles into the other, and how the guitars and banjos elegantly entwine.
Tue., Feb. 26, 7 p.m., 2013