"..haunting music that conjures the very soul of the Sahara... James evokes the spirit of the blues in these tracks, connecting with a vibe that's as ancient as Timbuktu itself. Every song is a piece of magic that will work its own spell".
"few cross-cultural musical collaborations have been as pleasing and fruitful as Markus James's Timbuktoubab project....their music is a language that they speak fluently, a language whose grammar has been developing for centuries along the sandy banks of the Niger River and in the delta of the Mississippi River."
-- Marco Werman, Music Editor, PRI/BBC's The World
"If different are any criteria for a smash hit record. Then this new release is a smash hit.
It is difficult to describe this record and associate it with any particular genre. But a few cuts sound like a new form of Roots Rock and some sound like folk.
MarKus James teams up with Hamma Sankare, Hassi Sare and Solo Sidibe. This should explain the sound of the CD. They are hot musicians from the Sahara Desert.
Radio should just play the CD and see what we are talking about. We here at Roots Music Report think the public will really enjoy this new music."
-- Roots Music Report
"Guitarist/songwriter Markus James scored a major critical success with his world music album Nightbird in 2001. The CD-recorded with musicians from the West African nation of Mali-was an absolutely uncanny evocation of blues and Malian traditional music, and it was certainly one of the most inspired world music projects of the year. James has once again returned to Mali for his new release, Timbuktoubab. Enlisting the brilliant support of Hassi Sare (njarka violin, vocals), Solo Sidibe (kamele n'goni, vocals), and Hamma Sankare (calabash, vocals), James has crafted another stunning collection of tunes that have as distinctive a sound as any music being tracked nowadays. Songs such as "Sixteen Camels/Yer Man Ya Li," "Far as I Can Run/Majirica Samba," and "Tele/Fire at the Gate" capture both the solitude of the Sahara and the spirit of the blues. The njarka, calabash and kamele n'goni-traditional Malian instruments-produce sonic textures that are aural descriptions of the vast, lonely Sahel. James' guitar, rooted at once in the blues and the guitar stylings of Malian masters such as Ali Farka Toure and Boubacar Traore, is every bit as compelling as his dusky, impassioned vocals. Timbuktoubab is a moving listening experience from start to finale, and will surely be remembered at the end of the year as one of the finest world music titles of 2005.-- Metro Magazine