Who: Vieux Farka Toure with William Elliott Whitmore
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St.
Vieux Farka Toure’s bringing a new twist to the Boulder Roots & Blues Summit.
Toure calls the landlocked west African nation of Mali home, but he’s ready to join forces with the festival’s all-star line-up. The event runs Friday through Sunday at the Fox and Boulder Theaters, and features Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Davy Knowles and Leon Russell.
Toure headlines Friday’s summit at the Fox. Word is getting out about the bluesman, because Dave Matthews appears on his new album, The Secret — and he’s booked for the DMB’s Caravan Tour.
The blues comes easily to Toure. His father was Malian musician Ali Farka Toure, but the second-generation musician’s putting a new spin on the genre.
“Mali is the original home of the blues. It’s that simple,” Toure said. “You can not speak about the blues without respecting its origin. My music is blues and its is Malian, because they’re the same thing.
“I try to be a bridge by playing a styles that draw from Mali and American cultures. My music is a mix of both. That way, people from Africa or America can appreciate the music and meet in the middle.”
Toure’s music resonates with fans of all cultures. The bluesman performed at South Africa’s 2010 World Cup games, and his record, Fondo was an iTunes world music hit.
Now American musicians are embracing Toure’s skillful guitar work and songs.
Soulive’s Eric Krasno just produced Toure’s new record, The Secret. The album also features Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, Ivan Neville and John Scofield.
Toure wanted his record to take listeners on a musical journey that fused the past and present. The Secret is the bluesman’s third studio album and it drops on May 24.
“My lyrics always try to impart wisdom that I’ve learned from my elders and from my own experiences,” Toure said. “Our time is short, and it is our relationships with each other that matter.
“Sonically, I am trying to make music that digs into the past to gain the tools to move forward. I am trying to pay homage to the past and the future all at once.”
Matthews and the rest of the guest artists helped Toure create that sound blend for The Secret.
“They all brought in different styles and flavors,” Toure said. “It’s like a big stew; some spice, some salt and some sweet.”
Toure’s future in the US is looking pretty bright, and he’s already mapping out plans for two new videos and beyond.
“My team will be releasing music videos,” Toure confirmed. “There is one coming for the song with Dave Matthews — and for the one with Derek Trucks.
“For me, there is no secret. I will simply play, and play and play. You will have to come and see the Boulder show. I plan to take the audience to the moon.”