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Ever since the great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure released his first albums in the West in the late 80s, much has been made of the link between West African guitar music and the blues, from Toure’s spindly, hypnotic acoustic guitar epics to the churning electric jams of Tinariwen. Naturally it wasn’t long before blues musicians from the West like Corey Harris and Markus James saw an opportunity for some cross-cultural action, jamming with their guitar-playing counterparts (something Ry Cooder did with Toure on the 1994 album Talking Timbuktu). I find most of those excursions boring and a tad forced. Yes, there are similarities between West African modal music and the blues, but they are not the same thing, and too often such mashups end up neutering the African element. One magnificent exception has been the fruitful collaboration between British guitarist Justin Adams and the Gambian griot Juldeh Camara.