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Markus James | Timbuktoubab

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Ali Farka Touré Mississippi John Hurt

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United States - California

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World: African World: African- West Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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by Markus James

World Blues: a unique cross-cultural collaboration recorded with traditional musicians in Timbuktu, Mali. Billboard (critic's choice, World): "every song is a piece of magic" Roots Music Report: "a new form of Roots Rock"
Genre: World: African
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. sixteen camels / yer man ya li
3:27 album only
2. mone / jump up and fly
2:31 album only
3. hey gabriel
2:12 album only
4. mercy / dau
3:52 album only
5. koriome (instr)
5:25 album only
6. wakin up at midnight / ebina
3:27 album only
7. far as I can run / majirica samba
3:10 album only
8. gobissa / things we'll never understand
3:31 album only
9. all the kingdoms / goi boiru
5:20 album only
10. let's go (instr)
0:55 album only
11. break that chain each day
3:33 album only
12. there goes Bankano (instr)
0:38 album only
13. Takamba blues
4:59 album only
14. weather change (instr)
2:01 album only
15. tele / fire at the gate
3:32 album only
16. sun is rising
3:31 album only


Album Notes
"..haunting music that conjures the very soul of the Sahara... James evokes the spirit of the blues in these tracks, connecting with a vibe that's as ancient as Timbuktu itself. Every song is a piece of magic that will work its own spell".

"few cross-cultural musical collaborations have been as pleasing and fruitful as Markus James's Timbuktoubab project....their music is a language that they speak fluently, a language whose grammar has been developing for centuries along the sandy banks of the Niger River and in the delta of the Mississippi River."
-- Marco Werman, Music Editor, PRI/BBC's The World

"If different are any criteria for a smash hit record. Then this new release is a smash hit.
It is difficult to describe this record and associate it with any particular genre. But a few cuts sound like a new form of Roots Rock and some sound like folk.
MarKus James teams up with Hamma Sankare, Hassi Sare and Solo Sidibe. This should explain the sound of the CD. They are hot musicians from the Sahara Desert.
Radio should just play the CD and see what we are talking about. We here at Roots Music Report think the public will really enjoy this new music."
-- Roots Music Report

"Guitarist/songwriter Markus James scored a major critical success with his world music album Nightbird in 2001. The CD-recorded with musicians from the West African nation of Mali-was an absolutely uncanny evocation of blues and Malian traditional music, and it was certainly one of the most inspired world music projects of the year. James has once again returned to Mali for his new release, Timbuktoubab. Enlisting the brilliant support of Hassi Sare (njarka violin, vocals), Solo Sidibe (kamele n'goni, vocals), and Hamma Sankare (calabash, vocals), James has crafted another stunning collection of tunes that have as distinctive a sound as any music being tracked nowadays. Songs such as "Sixteen Camels/Yer Man Ya Li," "Far as I Can Run/Majirica Samba," and "Tele/Fire at the Gate" capture both the solitude of the Sahara and the spirit of the blues. The njarka, calabash and kamele n'goni-traditional Malian instruments-produce sonic textures that are aural descriptions of the vast, lonely Sahel. James' guitar, rooted at once in the blues and the guitar stylings of Malian masters such as Ali Farka Toure and Boubacar Traore, is every bit as compelling as his dusky, impassioned vocals. Timbuktoubab is a moving listening experience from start to finale, and will surely be remembered at the end of the year as one of the finest world music titles of 2005.-- Metro Magazine



to write a review


This is a great CD
My daughter wanted this CD for Christmas. She saw the group on TV and fell in love with the music. I listened to it.. yes before she got to.. and I see why she wanted it. It is really very good. It seems to sound heart felt. I think that is what makes it so good. Total harmony. And CD Baby.. you're great too. Thanks for being so fast and you were the only place I could find this CD. Great job.

CD Baby

Every now and then an artist comes along who stands out among the 10,000+ CD Baby artists in a way that sinks deep into your blood, leaving a permanent impression on your outlook and changing the way you hear everything afterwards. After you hear it, it seems like an obvious combination but until you do, you simply can't imagine the perfection, the exquisite compatibility of acoustic blues and West African roots. Markus James has uncovered a potent voice and has revealed a secret, dynamic harmony between these two distinctive styles, melding his blues vocals and guitar with the thunking of the calabash (Hamma Sankare) and the haunting cry of the njarka (Hassi Sare). Often referring to Mississippi John Hurt and Ali Farka Toure, Markus is quickly creating a buzz with his unmistakable hybrid where both genres hold each other up, complement and enhance the feeling of the other. There is an immensity to this album- it gives a feeling of compressed and highly concentrated possibility, of so many stories layerd into one musical nugget that all you can do is hum. "Timbuktoubab", in its profound intensity, has a way of boiling down life to its very essence.


This CD is everything you read about it thses reviews and more. A wonderful way to let the time roll by you, with this music on. CD Baby is the best, too. Hard to find items, great service and delivery. Yay!


This is a very unique CD, sure to please fans of African, Blues, and just plain great music.

Cindy Stead

A real toe-tapper!
Timbuktoubab is AWESOME! If you are a "foot-wiggler" to begin with, this CD will get your WHOLE body moving! Go to the kitchen; get some spoons, a pot or some drum sticks and join in the fun. Allow yourself to just be!


CD baby thank you for sending such a Wonderful Art Work
Markus James, when I listen the product of your collaboration with our Malian brothers and sip on my red wine Marcus James, I feel just fine. Great Job!!!


the bridge to world music
I've been wanting to get into world music for a while, but I have NO CLUE where to start. This Markus James cd pulls enough of the classic blues sound (John Lee Hooker, Ledbelly, etc.) and mixes it with authentic world music to make for an incredibly unique listen. Its like he is exposing these world musicians to american blues and they're running with the concept.

Incredible. There is a DVD out of this, and I've already ordered it!

Rebecca Fogg

It's been a trying few weeks in California worried about friends in the Big Sur wildfires...but this music both comforts and energizes.


Absolutely extraordinary! I Love Markus James CD's
I had never heard of Markus James until about 2 weeks ago and then watched him on a program on t.v. with his Timbuktubab group, I think it's awesome to bring the different musics together, and they all seemed to genuinely like and respect each other which is awesome in such a hate filled world. You all are awesome! Susan


hypnotic and magical
saw a bit of bit of the documentary on pbs and was rivited to the screen. not only beautiful to watch but magical to listen to as well. rushed to listen to more of marcus james and then ordered 6 cds, three for me and three to share. love them all! perfect for any sort of listening, active or passive. bravo!