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Hollywood doesn't make movies as good as the life story of Amadou & Mariam. Their musical careers stretch back decades-- Amadou Bagayoko played guitar for the legendary Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako beginning in the late 1960s. At Bamako's Institute for Young Blind People, Bagoyoko met Mariam Doumbia, and the pair forged two parallel partnerships, one in marriage and the other in music. Their parents approved of neither. They began their recording career in the 1980s the way so many other African artists have-- traveling hundreds of miles to Abidjan in Cote D'Ivoire, which until recently was one of the cultural and economic centers of Francophone West Africa, to make cassettes and perform. Within a decade, they were playing in Europe and cutting all kinds of new influences into their sound, from Cuban son and horn-spiked funk to reggae and Delta blues, and Western labels were giving them the compilation treatment. Now, with Dimanche ? Bamako, the blind couple from Mali seems well-poised to make a huge splash, though it's likely that the mainstream attention they get in the rest of the world will far outpace what they get in the U.S.

Added by ryanpsims on February 21, 2006