Bombino - Nomad (3 stars)

Bombino - Nomad

Young guitar hero from Niger soups up his sound with classic rock flourishes

(Nonesuch)

Bombino, the young guitar hero from Niger, has become a breakthrough star of Tuareg desert blues. Here, he’s hooked up with producer Dan Auerbach of garage blues duo The Black Keys, who soups up his sound with classic rock flourishes and a hot modern mix. When so many world music albums are polished for Western consumption, it’s refreshing to hear Bombino’s overdriven guitar burst from the speakers. Purists may crinkle their noses at the sweeter touches Auerbach brings – a vibraphone on ‘Imuhar’ and a pedal steel – but there’s no doubt that the heavy rolling ‘Amidinine’, and the rockabilly echo-drenched ‘Azamane Tiliade’ are real bahoochie shakers. Less successful are the attempts to add psychedelic effects to an already mesmeric sound, but the fusing of ‘Tamaditine’s desert lope with a lazy country ‘n’ western shuffle is rather affecting.

Bombino - Azamane Tiliade (Official Video)

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