Sidi Touré is a songwriter / guitarist from Mali. He specializes in the songhai blues like Ali Farka Touré. In 1976, he became a member of the regional orchestra of Gao, the Songhaï Stars. At that time, the government of Mali supported cultural and musical expression through bi-annual festivals (Biennale), where each region of Mali was represented by an orchestra and a traditional ensemble. Many great musicians developed their craft during these performances. Sidi recently released a new album of material, his first since 1996, entitled Sahel Folk on Thrill Jockey. It’s great to see more record labels picking up international artists and broadening their scope of musical genres. Check out this great video for “Mon Pays” that he shot in Mali. I love the simple style of this video where Sidi is shot in a few locations playing guitar and singing about his beautiful country.