These recordings were made over six days, in continuous takes. There were no overdubs or subsequent additions: the songs came pouring out. Sata had been waiting for this opportunity, and it came two months after the birth of her third child. The recordings were made outside the dusty city centre, in the walled garden of the Makeleke nightclub, under a big shady tree. Sata invited the musicians and chose the songs herself. Sata selected a mixture of new compositions and songs from the traditional repertoire of the young hunters in the region called Wassoulou, south of the Malian capital Bamako, where she grew up (a tradition originally introduced to the wider world by the singer Oumou Sangare); and a variety of lineups, from solo to eight-piece, including balafon, guitar, flute and percussion. Sata’s singing is a rush of deep, throaty, declamatory tones reminiscent of the early American bluesmen; and she plays the three-stringed hunters‘ harp — the kamelen n’goni — usually reserved for the men of the village. This instrument has gradually been incorporated into popular music, and one or two pioneering women broke the rules and learned to play it before Sata — though none emerged beyond family performances. It is a notoriously difficult instrument to play, and her skill has brought her the nickname 'the hunters’ heroine'. She had no access to it as a child, when it was still strictly played by men, but she says it was easy to make, so she made her own, and taught herself to play. Since then, she always makes her own — from a resonating gourd, and a strong piece of carved wood for the neck. She says she didn’t dare ask anyone to teach her, because 'All the players are male and they would not teach a woman'. But she cites two men — Alata Broulaye and Yoro Diallo — as inspirations, and the (male) kamelen n’goni stars who influenced her before she found her own style. There are songs praising particular hunters, and Allah; also reflections on personal experiences of relationships between the sexes, featuring those universal figures the love-rat, the hypocrite, the commitment-phobe. Sata sings of the sadness of parting and of saying goodbye (as resonant for lovers everywhere as for Malians abroad or uprooted at home). And she closes with a light, bright track for dancing — Kono Kuru (Birds That Flock Together) — an uplifting call for tolerance and understanding.