It's easy to romanticize the Sahara — a vast expanse of sand organized around the northern reaches of the Niger River. Part of that romance is captured in the music of singer and guitarist Sidi Touré, who composes songs in the folkloric tradition of the Songhaï people.
His new album of desert chamber music, Koïma, harkens back to the glory days of the Songhaï Empire, which ruled much of the region from the city of Gao in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Joan Osborne makes her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Osborne's performance was the final date on the first leg of her 2012 tour in support of her latest album, Bring It on Home. With a career that's inching toward the two-decade mark, Osborne has found success across genres, earning accolades as a singer-songwriter, pop hitmaker and rootsy, bluesy soul singer.