Back on November 21st I asked, "What is the best album of 2008?" In that post I listed the top ten albums according to Metacritic's aggregated critic-rating statistics. At the time, The Bug held the number one spot for his album "London Zoo".

Amadou & Mariam's Welcome to Mali was released on November 17th in the UK and hadn't even been listed on Metacritic yet. It appeared on the site a week or two after that, and it in turn knocked The Bug down to the number two spot. To this day "Welcome to Mali" holds the title of best rated album of 2008... even though it doesn't come out in the U.S. until March 24, 2009.

In June A&M will visit our country again, to give us some more of their great live shows...

The singer Mariam Doumbia and her husband, the guitarist/vocalist Amadou Bagayoko, have been making music together since they first met and fell in love at the Institute for Young Blind People in Bamako, Mali's capital, three decades ago. Over the last few years, they have achieved remarkable critical and popular acclaim in Europe and North America.

Amadou & Mariam are especially beloved for their live shows - they recently performed in the Africa Express event that was part of the BBC Electric Proms festival; the concert also featured Johnny Marr, The Magic Numbers, Damon Albarn, and Hard-Fi as well as numerous African artists. They will be headlining a Spring tour and will be opening for Coldplay in July.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for a June 8th headlining date at Webster Hall in NYC. Last time they were here was for All Points West.

All dates below...

Amadou & Mariam - 2009 North American Tour Dates
June 2nd - Chicago, IL - Park West
June 4th - Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
June 5th - Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
June 6th - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
June 8th - New York, NY - Webster Hall
June 10th - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
July 10th - Portland, OR - The Amphitheater at Clark County*
July 11th - George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre*
July 13th - San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre*
July 16th - San Diego, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre*
July 18th - Carson, CA - Home Depot Center*
July 21st - Dallas, TX - Center*
July 22nd - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion*
July 24th - Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater*

*opening for Coldplay

Amadou & Mariam - 2009 European Tour Dates
Feb 20 - Muffathalle Munich
Feb 21 - Les Docks Lausanne
Feb 24 - Concorde 2 Brighton
Feb 25 - Free Instore at Pure Groove London, UK
Feb 25 - KOKO London, London and South East
Feb 25 - After Party at the Double Club, MO DJ playing from 10pm London, UK
Feb 26 - Bristol Academy Bristol
Feb 27 - HMV Edinburgh (Princes St/ Picture House) - In-store live acoustic gig Edinburgh
Feb 28 - Picturehouse Edinburgh
Mar 1 - Vicar Street Dublin
Mar 19 - Rockstore Montpellier
Mar 20 - Bikini Toulouse
Mar 21 - Transbordeur Lyon
Mar 24 - Paradisio Amsterdam
Mar 25 - Den Atelier Luxembourg
Mar 26 - Aeronef Lille
Mar 28 - Jazz à Amiens Amiens

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