In the news for all the wrong reasons at the moment, but whenever I hear of the country my first thought is always all the fantastic music it's produced.
Ali Farka Toure is probably Africa's most famous musician after Fela Kuti. Here he is with Ry Cooder:
And with fellow Malian Toumani Diabate:
The couple Amadou and Mariam put out a fantastic poppy album a couple of years ago, <<Welcome to Mali>>. I could only find shitty uploads of the title track, so here's the first single instead:
The late Lobi Traore made wonderful Malian blues albums:
The trio of Malian kora player Mamadou Diabate, Australian blues guitarist Jeff Lange and Indian tabla player Bobby Singh sounds like a contrived car crash waiting to happen, but Djan Djan's album of a few years ago was in fact bloody brilliant:
So, hit me up with some more music from Timbuktu and beyond.