by Bill Pearis


Songhoy Blues fled their home of Northern Mali when armed Jihadists took control and banned music altogether. In Southern Mali city of Bamako, they caught the attention of Damon Albarn who was there in 2013 with his traveling "Africa Express" project that brought Western musicians (like Nick Zinner and members of Django Django and Metronomy) to Mali to collaborate with local musicians. Zinner ended up producing and playing on Songhoy Blues' debut album, Music in Exile, and he brings a nice grit to their sound. It's a terrific record -- which gets its physical US release on April 21 -- and you can stream it below. Songhoy Blues just released a live performance video for "Soubour" which features Zinner, and you can also see them in new documentary They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile. Check out the documentary trailer and live video below.

Live, Songhoy Blues need no help conveying their joyous, funky sound. (I caught them at the afterparty for the recent David Byrne tribute and they were great.) You may have seen them when they opened for Alabama Shakes back in March, and they played SXSW and a few other NYC shows as well. They'll be back for a few more US shows, including two in NYC.

The NYC shows happen June 15 at Rough Trade and June 16 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets to both NYC shows go on sale to the general public starting Friday (4/17) at noon. All dates are listed below...


Songhoy Blues - 2015 Tour Dates
Mon 11 May 2015 La Boule Noire Paris, France
Thu 14 May 2015 Botanique Brussels, Belgium
Thu 14 -- Sat 16 May 2015 The Great Escape 2015 Brighton, UK
Fri 15 -- Sun 17 May 2015 Wood 2015 Wallingford, UK
Thu 21 May 2015 Stall 6 Zürich, Switzerland
Fri 22 May 2015 Le Romandie Rock Club Lausanne, Switzerland
Thu 28 May 2015 Village Underground London, UK
Fri 05 Jun 2015 Thalia Hall Chicago, IL, US
Wed 10 Jun 2015 The Sinclair - Cambridge, MA
Thu 11 Jun 2015 World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
Fri 12 Jun 2015 U Street Music Hall - Washington, DC
Mon 15 Jun 2015 Rough Trade - NYC
Mon 16 Jun 2015 Mercury Lounge - NYC
Thu 20 -- Sun 23 Aug 2015 Green Man Festival 2015 Powys, UK
Thu 22 Oct 2015 SWG3 Glasgow, UK
Fri 23 Oct 2015 Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK
Sat 24 Oct 2015 Concorde 2 Brighton, UK
Sun 25 Oct 2015 Manchester Gorilla Manchester, UK
Mon 26 Oct 2015 Hare & Hounds Birmingham, UK
Tue 27 Oct 2015 The Fleece Bristol, UK
Wed 04 Nov 2015 KOKO London, UK

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