Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

Sub Pop built its reputation on grunge and sustained it on indie rock. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are absolutely neither of those. The first signees to Sub Pop subsidiary Next Ambiance, Ngoni Ba is a four-person family act from Mali, all playing the ngoni, a West African string instrument related to the banjo but unique in its long drum skin body. The sound is rolling and soulful and nimbly picked. Four of these nuanced instruments play like the wittiest and liveliest of conversations sung by clever plucks and strums. MARY PAULINE DIAZ

Thu., July 22, 8 p.m., 2010

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