At the suggestion of a Lost Melodies reader, I checked out the music of Ali Farka Toure. He has a unique sound that combines American blues with African music (though The Blues is a direct decendent from West African music).
Toure was a musician from Mali who was often compared to John Lee Hooker (Hooker has a new box set out, by the way). This comparison is due to his guitar licks and the similarity of his music to the blues sound. Unfortunately, Ali Farka Toure passed away last March from bone cancer. Here are an impressive number of mp3s by Toure as well as a fantastic video of the man in action (the song on the video is entitled “Goye Kur” is the opening track on The Source). To hear more Toure, pick up Toure’s self titled debut and Talking Timbuktu (with Ry Cooder). Thanks, Adam!