Mini Review: Ashley Maher – "Amina"

If you enjoy Vampire Weekend’s Afro-pop sensibility, you’ll probably love Ashley Maher. Ashley is a California-based singer songwriter who sounds a bit like Joni Mitchell, but her music has a strong west African influence.

Her 5th album, “Amina” is her most authentically Senegalese. Produced by Cameroonian producer Andre Manger, portions of it were recorded at Jimi M’baye’s Studio Dogo in Dakar featuring Jimi, tama player Assane Thiam, and other Senegalese musicians.

The song “Joy” tells the story of her trip to Senegal, which you can also read about in her blog. She gives shout outs to several Senegalese musicians and alludes to Youssou N’dour’s song “Old Tucson”.

Ashley is not only a wonderful singer, she’s also a master of complex Senegalese dances like the Sabar.

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