NPR Music

Support Public RadioLogin

SXSW: Live From Austin

Khaira Arby, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011

March 17, 2011 The queen of Malian desert rock, Khaira Arby has the chops to overwhelm her incredible band, who create a hypnotic backdrop for her gloriously swooping vocals.

One of the living legends of Malian music, Khaira Arby is widely hailed as the queen of Malian desert soul, and with good reason. Shrouded in regal colors, she presides over a small army of brilliant African musicians, who create a hypnotic backdrop for her gloriously swooping vocals. It feels a little silly to think of her as a frontwoman — the mere lead singer of some band — on the live stage, she's all showmanship and command.

Taking gorgeous songs from her album Timbuktu Tarab and fleshing them out into full-fledged dance parties, Arby and her band didn't stick out awkwardly on a bill between the eccentric flourishes of tUnE-yArDs and the monumentally assured rock 'n' roll of WILD FLAG — if anything, they're a perfect bridge. Performing live as part of NPR Music's SXSW day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas, Arby proved once again that so-called "world" music needn't be segregated from American rock and soul. She belongs here, and everywhere.

Set List
  • "Sallou"
  • "Cinquantenaire"
  • "Djoungou"
  • "Alouha"
  • "Lilliyoro"
Band Personnel
  • Khaira Arby - Lead Vocals
  • Dramane Toure - Lead Guitar
  • M'Barka Dembebe - Rhythm Guitar
  • Mohamed Ag Mohamed - Bass
  • Mahal Madane Abbanassane - Drums

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

More SXSW: Live From Austin

More SXSW: Live From Austin
 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Podcast + RSS Feeds

Podcast RSS

  • Music
     
  • SXSW: Live From Austin