Published Sep 17, 2015After a chance meeting in New York, Malian blues-folk guitarist Vieux Farka Touré and American vocal looper Julia Easterlin created Touristes from an impromptu recording session. Starting off with the polite folk/world ditty "Little Things," followed by the straightforward electric blues of "A B'ashiye (It's Alright)" (one of only three songs Touré takes the lead on), Touristes begins to gain steam through a trio of covers that feature Easterlin's incredibly dense vocal style: Bob Dylan's "Masters of War," Fever Ray's "I'm Not Done" and a reworking of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" (retitled "In the Pines").
From there, Touré and Easterlin deliver some great performances that help give tracks like the syncopated, uplifting "Took My Brother Down" and the smooth, sparse "Spark" experimental slants. As some of the material on these ten tracks have a sort of patchwork feel to it, it's Touré and Easterlin's unbridled energy that keep Touristes afloat. (Six Degree Records)