"I think the way to look at it is musicians have always listened to other kinds of music," says Afro-blues guitarist Justin Adams. "There's never been a time when people have stayed in one place and not travelled, traded or migrated.

"So there has never been any such thing as a pure' form of music. The more I study, the more I realise there are ancient links between all kinds of music."

Although the affable, softly spoken Adams is far too modest to admit it, he has had an extraordinary career tracing such connections.

He grew up in the Middle East and Egypt, which he says "attuned me to different ways of doing things", and has gone on to play with Jah Wobble, Brian Eno, Robert Plant and desert blues masters, Tinariwen.

His latest project is a collaboration with Juldeh Camara, a Gambian griot (a caste of oral historians and singers) who plays the ritti, a single-stringed African fiddle.

When Camara first heard Adams' Desert Road album, he thought the guitarist was African and was so impressed he contacted Adams to suggest they work together.

The result was 2007's Soul Science album, which was among both fRoots and Songlines magazines' records of the year and went on to pick up a Radio 3 World Music award in April.

"We were speaking the same language musically," he explains.

"I present it in quite a rock 'n' roll way, so you have guitar which sounds rough. It's quite full-on. But the scales and the rhythms are often from very traditional African music, so it was quite easy for him to play along.

"The title refers to the way a lot of African music is put together. It's a kind of ancient science that really gets deep inside you, the way the melodies and rhythms fit together."

Adams is enjoying playing more intimate venues after years of touring the world as guitarist in Robert Plant's Strange Sensation band and recent dates supporting Tinariwen.

He befriended the latter after working with the French band Lojo, whose local city is twinned with the capital of Mali. While accompanying them to a festival there, he met Tuareg musicians - the nomadic people of the Saharan interior - who insisted he must hear Tinariwen play.

Two years later, Adams was part of a team which went out into the desert to record the group for the album The Radio Tisdas Sessions, which he produced. It was the beginning of Tinariwen's career in the West.

"That part of Mali had been cut off because of a civil war, so they were very keen to make some contact with the outside world," he explains. "They're an incredible, inspiring bunch of people.

"Their success is amazing to me, really. It was something I was passionate about, but I had no way of telling when we started out that the rest of the world would take any notice at all."

  • 8pm, £12.50/£10. 01273 709709