You might not have heard of Ray Phiri, but you've heard Ray Phiri.
He was Paul Simon's guitarist for the Graceland album and tour.
He's an example of the African guitar style. From here, it's easy to generalize over too much music with too little source material to draw from, but it seems that, from flatpicking acoustic guitar to multi-head Marshall stacks, the western style of guitar is trying to get a more and more solid sound. African music in general, and Ray Phiri specifically, always seems almost gossamer in contrast. It's almost not there, but it's so good that it is.