Bombino – Nomad (2013)
Bombino is the performing name of Niger’s Omara Moctar, a guitarist and singer of the Tuareg people, a nomadic group based in Niger, Mali and Algeria.
After fleeing Niger to Algeria in the early 1990’s Tuareg rebellion, he began teaching himself guitar on an instrument brought by visiting relatives.
West Africa is the spiritual home of the blues, with a great tradition, especially in Mali and with the Tuareg people, of African blues; and Nomad is a welcome addition to the oeuvre of that region. Moctar’s electric guitar is a folky blues machine, singing out riffs like a thing possessed, while the funky African rhythms drive the whole thing forward.
The sound is dense though upbeat, drawing out the gritty raw nature of Moctar’s music, from a real blues affair, exemplified by a track such as the instrumental Niamey Jam, through to country, with Imidiwan, and the mix thereof to close the album on Tamiditine.
The production quality is fantastic giving a real great rock sound, heavy on the rhythm section and a nice big guitar sound, such as on Azamane Tiliade; no doubt coming as a result of having The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach as producer.
Overall, a great album, as worthwhile for blues fans and fans of African music.
Favourite tracks: Niamey Jam, Tamiditine, Azamane Tiliade
Spotify link: Bombino – Nomad