Dubbed the ‘Hendrix of the Sahara’, Malian guitarist and songwriter Vieux Farka Touré has been on the world music map for sometime and despite being the son of legendary Malian guitar star Ali Farka Touré the artist has forged his own path, collaborating with heavy weights across the world all the while honing his electrifying, mesmerizing take on ‘desert blues’. Now did I know any of this before Split Works sent out an email in the autumn of 2016 – hell no. It’s a vast world of music out there folks and that’s why it’s great to have promoters like Split Works giving Chinese audiences as well as myself a taste of what we’re missing across the globe. It’s not often Beijing gets to be treated to the varied styles of African blues – from rip roaring fingerpicking crowd pleasers, to gentler more elegant acoustic moments that were supplemented with a calabash, the guitar hero had it out for us at Yugong Yishan, and you couldn’t for the life of you find a face without a wide grin by the end of the night. Hell of a start to 2017 for the Split Works team.