HABIB KOITE & ERIC BIBB
“Brothers in Bamako”
Kindred spirits: Vieux Farka Toure, Taj Mahal, Bukka White
Show: Friday at Artisphere. Show starts at
8 p.m. 703-875-1100. www.artisphere.com. $30.
Senegal-born pop-folk musician Habib Koite (who’s based in Mali) and New York-bred bluesman Eric Bibb (who lives in Finland) are not siblings by blood, or even really in musical style. Yet the singer-guitarists’ rapport is evident on their recent collaboration, “Brothers in Bamako.” Their approaches overlap more than meld, but the results are amiable and sometimes lovely.
As announced by opening track “On My Way to Bamako,” Bibb’s music is direct, unadorned and conversational. As a boy in the ’60s, the guitarist got advice from such folk-revivalist acquaintances as Bob Dylan (whose “Blowin’ in the Wind” is covered here) and Pete Seeger. Bibb dominates the album, while Koite seems content mostly to follow his partner’s taste for homespun American music.