Songhoy Blues' Garba Touré: “I want to have my own way on the guitar, so people say, ‘That’s Garba playing’”

Garba Touré
(Image credit: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

The Songhoy Blues origin story is one for the ages, and it set the Malian quartet on a creative and spiritual trajectory that they continue on today.

The story begins with exile from Timbuktu after jihadis take the country’s north, imposing Sharia law. The refugee musicians are then introduced in Bamako, Mali’s capital, and play a wedding. Guitarist Garba Touré laughs at the memory.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.