Thursday, June 29, 2023

VA - Desert Blues 1+2+3 [1995, 2002, 2008] (6 x CD's)


VA - Desert Blues 1+2+3 [1995, 2002, 2008] (6 x CD's)

Brilliant series of three disks. The birth of the blues can be heard here.

It is 24 years since the label Network began recording artists from the Sahara, Sahel and neighboring countries. The journey to the serene side of African music has since been awarded international prizes, has been in the charts for months and is regarded as the "best-selling compilation of African music of all time" (fRoots). Many stars from the countries around the Sahara have allowed themselves to be inspired by the Desert Blues.

VA - Desert Blues 1 [1995] Ambiances du Sahara
This is a great 2 CD set to give you a taste of known and the unknown, the good and the merely interesting. Quite a variety and the two CDs are quite different in mood, so you can choose bouncy or laid back. There are a couple of artists represented twice. African singers who are still unknown and deserve some airtime. We've picked up a couple of new unknowns from this album and are now trying to track them down for more of their enchanting sounds. Makes a good present for friends who are intrigued by the idea of "African music" but don't know where to start.  I was in Egypt and thought I had discovered a CD which wasn't available normally. So I was surprised to see it's listed here. I've listened to this album a thousand times and can sing N'Dour's "Sama Guent Gun" almost by heart (though I don't understand what it means). You're depriving yourself of a true musical wonder if you pass up this one. (Amazon)

VA - Desert Blues 2 [2002] Reves D'oasis
I have thousands of albums, but I am not sure I have anything better than this. It's astoundingly good. It's also very hard to pick out the best tracks - there's no slack whatsoever. At a push I might just take 'Hakmet Lakdar' by Hasna El Belcharia to my desert island if I could only take one with me. The first listen easily exceeded my expectations, and anybody interested in African blues from around the edge of the Sahara region is guaranteed, in my view, not to be disappointed. The best-known artist is Djelimady Tounkara, but the vast majority were unknown to me and as soon as you listen to them make you want to find the original albums. There is a large variety to the blues on offer and I can but totally recommended it. Found the influences seemed to draw upon so many rock/pop/jazz/blues stuff I thought I had heard elsewhere, but soon I then realised this is the origin of all that music anyway. Most contemporary music since the fifties has it's seed of origin in Africa, and much of it seems to be from Saharan Africa. (Amazon)

VA - Desert Blues 3 [2008] Entre dunes et savanes
For Desert Blues 3, the editorial team has evaluated all the new releases of recent years and is now presenting the creme of musicians from 10 countries and their highly emotional ballads: including, super-stars Khaled and Souad Massi from Algeria; Malouma "The Lady of the Blues" from Mauritania; the poignant voice of Dhafer Youssef from Tunisia; Gigi, the current queen of Ethiopian soul music; expressive music from Mali by Amadou and Marian, Ali Farka Toure, Oumo Sangare, Rokia Traore with the Kronos Quartet; "Fula Flute" from Guinea; Tuareg music from West Africa by the successful group Tinariwen. And all of this is complemented by several completely new discoveries and first releases. A musical dream journey to the voices and vibes of the oases, the savannas, the caravans, the endless seas of sand and Tuareg campfires. Long-format double CD. More than 2 hours playing time. This compilation is full of beautiful voice, melodies envoutantes or magic full of smells of Africa. (Amazon)


Pt.1     Pt.2 




Track list 1


01. Mwashah - Hamza el Din
02. Saa Magni - Oumou Sangare
03. Sama Guent Guii - Youssou N'Dour
04. Eilan Akabar Warigazaz - Baly Othmani, Steve Shehan
05. Diaraby - Ry Cooder, Ali Farka Touré
06. Y'shebellu - Aster Aweke
07. Samba - Baaba Maal
08. Almaryood - Abdel Gadir Salim
09. Ere Mela Mela/Meche Neu - Mahmoud Ahmed
10. Duniya - Tata Dindin
11. Tono
12. Agne Anko - Kante Manfila


01. Ma'bud Allah - Hassan Hakmoun, Adam Rudolph
02. Ashabab Yidie Shabab Aldual - Dimi Mint Abba
03. Yero Mama - Baaba Maal
04. Umri Ma Bansa - Abdel Gadir Salim
05. Roucky - Taj Mahal, Ali Farka Touré
06. Beyt Bieh - Ensemble El-Moukhadrami
07. Sakhadougou - Tata Dindin
08. Kel Akalin - Baly Othmani, Steve Shehan
09. Ntanan - Sali Sidibe
10. Jaarou
11. M'Boré - Sona Diabate

Track list 2


01. Majid Bekkas - Daymallah
02. Boubacar Traore - Mouso Teke Soma Ye
03. Rokia Traore - Laidu
04. Djeli Moussa Diawara & Bob Brozman - Almany
05. Momo Wandel Soumah - Felenko Yefe
06. Lobi Troare - Anunka Ben
07. Abaji - Gibran
08. Aziza Brahim & Tarba Bibo - Dios Mio!
09. Kadda Cherif Hadria - Djezair
10. Hasna el Becharia - Hakmet Lakdar
11. Djelimady Tounkara - Mande Djeliou
12. Habib Koite - Forobana


01. Cheb Mami - Trab
02. Nahawa Doumbia - Minia
03. Lobi Traoré - Wolodennu
04. Momo Wandel Soumah - Toko
05. Soliman Gamil - Sufi Dialogue
06. Boubacar Traoré     - Baba Dramé
07. Rasha    Azara - Al Hay
08. El Hadj N'Diaye - Sama Guitare
09. Tartit - Aïtma
10. Teita Leibid & Luis Delgado - La Sepultura
11. Netsanet Mellessé & Wallias Band - Minew Jal
12. Mansour Seck - Yango
13. Grand Papa Diabaté feat. Sona Diabaté - Mamaya, 15ème partie
14. Yandé Codou Sène & Youssou N'Dour - Lees Waxul

Track list 3


01. Fanta Bourama - Djelimady Tounkara
02. M'Ba Den Ou - Idrissa Soumaoro
03. Raoui - Souad Massi
04. Wahrane, Wahrane - Khalèd
05. Nabi - Souad Massi, Tiris
06. Kanou - Régis Gizavo, Boubacar Traoré,
07. Dream After Dream - Markus James
08. Lassidan - Bako Dagnon
09. Keme Bourema - Fula Flute
10. Bati, Bati - Gigi
11. Baayo - Cherif Mbaw
12. Humaisa - Abdoulaye Alhassane Touré,
13. Bownboï - Kronos Quartet, , Rokia Traoré,
14. Ai Ga Bani - Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré


01. Kind of Love - Dhafer Youssef
02. Tounga - Seckou Keita Quartet
03. Penda Yoro - Ali Farka Touré
04. Kar Kar - Boubacar Traoré,
05. Yarab - Malouma
06. Banani - Bassekou Kouyate,Lobi Traoré
07. Imidiwan - Abdallah Ag Oumbadougou
08. Kulu - Ngou Bagayoko
09. Djorolen - Oumou Sangare
10. Mali Ba - Habib Koité
11. Ce N'Est Pas Bon - Amadou & Mariam,
12. Eywat Setenafegagn - Getatchew Mekurya
13. Ethiopia - Gigi
14. Izarharh Ténéré - Tinariwen



  1. Very good compilations from Network. It marked a lot the World Music universe at this time. Thanks BB.

    1. Hi Herve,
      This was a repost by me as the links were down and it was requested. But as it says in the writeup above, "You're depriving yourself of a true musical wonder if you pass up this one".

  2. I own these as CDs, and I can only recommend everybody to take a serious listen - to each volume, for several times. There's so much deep music to discover; even on return after some months/years there's always something new, haunting and surprising. Great choice for today's share, BB! Best, TC

    1. Thank You, TC.
      I think you hit the nail on the head. This is one set that you can introduce to the playlist anytime and you will be rewarded.

  3. This will be a voyage of discovery for me.
    Many thanks and thank you for the alternative download site.

    1. Hi bulldogUk.
      I hope you will enjoy this set.

  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Guitarradeplastico,scraping oddities

  5. Hello bb!! all the posts are excellent, thanks for the music!!! greetings from Argentina !

    1. Thank you, DANNY.
      Enjoy looking around. I hope you find more interesting music.

  6. I came across a video of turbaned guys sitting on the sand and was amazed at the guitar tone in the notes they played. Like an idiot I moved on and forgot to make a note of who they were. I hope to find that sound in this collection. Once again you gift us with music that we would probably never hear. Thank you so much for the joy you bring to us all.

    1. Hi lemonflag,
      Let me know if you find it here. I know many, like you, like to explore. As I do.
      There is so much great music that is to be found.

  7. Excellent broad collection. If you like music, you'll find something to like here. You hear the ancient and the present. Thanks BB! Love that you love music...where ever it may come from...good music is good music.

    1. Hi OldDJ.
      That is so true. Good music is good music regardless of who it is made by and wherever it is from.

  8. Hey Butterboy normally I thank you when I download something upfront. This time I do it wholeheartedly after listening to these treasures!

    1. Hi Little Bill,
      I am pleased you enjoyed these. There are really wonderful.

  9. Hi Butterboy, just downloaded the first part and am enjoying it greatly. Thanks for the intro to some new music.

    1. Hi Claygator,
      Glad you like it. Its a really wonderful set of CDs. I would recommend everyone listen to these.