Blurt’s Andy Tennille
is at Bonnaroo, collecting images and impressions. Don’t miss his frequent
Blurt Twitters from the site, either.
BY ANDY TENNILLE
BONNAROO 2009, FRIDAY JUNE 12: Musicologists will tell you
that the roots of nearly every genre of music can be traced back to Africa, and no where were those genealogical connections
more evident than on the first day of Bonnaroo 2009.
Friday’s lineup was filled with both African musicians as
well as artists whose music has been indelibly influenced by the sounds of the Dark Continent. Femi Kuti played opposite Public Enemy,
David Byrne followed Amadou & Mariam and two legends – Bela Fleck &
Toumani Diabete – shared a stage. Even Phish’s Trey Anastasio has professed his
love of King Sunny Ade’s music over the years.
While Ade’s set was perhaps the most highly anticipated of
the entire festival, it was a second generation Malian that stole the show on
Friday. Vieux Farka Toure, son of the late Ali Farka Toure, played to a
jam-packed Other Tent, treating the crowd to songs of his recently released
sophomore effort, Fondo. An
exceptional guitarist, Vieux Farka Toure pays homage to his father’s music
while putting his own unique spin on it. On a day that illuminated our links to
the Motherland, Vieux Farka Toure embodied it.