Amadou & Mariam have been playing music together since the early 1980s and Folila, released in April 2012, is the pair’s latest recording. Often referred to as “the blind couple from Mali”, Amadou & Mariam have a great knack for composing catchy songs in their inimitable Afro-pop style.
While a lot of their music is richly arranged with a backing band, backing singers and sometimes a brass section, I find the stripped-down versions of their songs to be even more effective. Recorded in the Shrine World Music Venue in Harlem, NYC, this acoustic version of Wily Kataso really highlights Amadou & Mariam’s capacity to hit on that hypnotic groove prevalent in a lot of Malian music and thus mesmerise the audience with their incredible stage presence.
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