Watch Mdou Moctar shred with Gina Gleason, Richard Fortus, Marc Ribot and Lee Ranaldo in the first ever D’Addario Extended Play jam

Richard Fortus, Mdou Moctar and Gina Gleason
(Image credit: D'Addario/YouTube)

D’Addario has announced its new Extended Play jam series – a program that sees electric guitar and acoustic guitar stars from all genres and generations join forces for extended performances fueled by D'Addario products.

To say D’Addario has debuted its premiere episode with a bang would be a fatal understatement: the first installment sees Tuareg virtuoso Mdou Moctar perform tracks from his 2021 album Afrique Victime with the help of Gina Gleason, Marc Ribot, Richard Fortus and Lee Ranaldo.

The five-song setlist first sees the Hendrix of the Sahara share the stage with Baroness guitarist Gleason, who matches his electrifying Fender Stratocaster action on Afrique Victime with some equally stunning six-string work of her own, arriving from the fretboard of her Fender Telecaster.

After Ribot and his Gibson SG help a Telecaster Acoustasonic-wielding Moctar shred through Tala Tannam, Guns N’ Roses axe slinger Richard Fortus then has the unenviable job of keeping up with the guitar titan for a dizzying performance of Chismiten.

The final guest spot goes to Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, whose none-more-Ranaldo feature on Taliat is followed by a Mdou Moctar band performance of Asdikte Akal.

Kudos must go to all of Moctar’s special guests. We can’t think of a much harder job than trading licks with a prime Moctar and doing his songs justice, all while delivering their own flair, but all manage to deliver the goods in spades. 

Fortus and Gleason's own Tuareg-tinged musical flair shows they've clearly done their homework on Afrique Victime, while Ranaldo meets Moctar’s lightning-quick licks and raises him a bowed intro and a smattering of sonic creations from his pedalboard.

It’s a momentous clash of the styles that, on paper, seems like a risky experiment, but in reality turns out to be one of the finest guitar jams we’ve seen this year so far.

Visit D'Addario's YouTube channel (opens in new tab) to keep up to date with forthcoming Extended Play jams.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.