Sign up for our free newsletter
The Malian singer and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré’s music is not safe world music to soundtrack your dinner party: Often, his Saharan chords are droning and abrasive, his wailing vocals steeped heavily in Islamic traditions. But he can also draw lilting, kora-like sonics from his ax, sounds that work well with his group’s polyrhythms. Touré, the son of the late Ali Farka Touré, has gradually modernized his sound since his self-titled 2006 debut. Where that release occasionally sounded like a photocopy of his dad’s style, his second record Fondo, and his tour for that album last year, began the work of establishing his own name. Adding dub reggae and rock and taking advantage of the skills of his whole band (especially calabash and djembe player Souleymane Kané and occasional Dirty Projector trap drummer Tim Keiper), Touré has created a Malian-Western hybrid that is as fun—even pleasant—as it is raw. VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ PERFORMS WITH ELIKEH AT 9 P.M. AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $18 (202) 483-5000.