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AzelAfter a 'brief' 25 hour delay in Morocco on his way from Niger, Bombino arrived in Woodstock, New York to record his new album at Applehead Studio with Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors). Applehead is a beautiful studio in a converted barn on farmland where goats, pigs, and other animals roam freely. The band stayed in a guest house a few steps away from the studio, and took turns making meals. Apart from a morning invasion of the guesthouse by a 700-pound pig, Applehead was the perfect atmosphere for Bombino and his group to create new music over the course of the 10 days they had there. Longstreth, meanwhile, proved to be a fantastic match for Bombino as this album's producer. He has a deep respect for the Saharan music tradition and guided their sessions with a gentle but skilled hand.
Fans of Bombino and Tuareg music in general will notice a few remarkable innovations on this album. The first is the introduction of a new style Bombino is pioneering that he affectionally calls 'Tuareggae' - a sunny blend of Tuareg blues/rock with reggae one-drop and bounce. Another is the first-ever use of Western vocal harmonies in recorded Tuareg music, (due to Longstreth's influence) which give the songs new depth and color. Finally, the band behind him is tighter and more energetic than ever before. The result is Bombino's best, most well-rounded, and groundbreaking album to date: Azel.
The word Azel has three meanings in Bombino's native Tamasheq language - first, it is the name of a small desert town just a few kilometers from where he grew up, in Agadez, Niger. His wife's family is from Azel, and it is the site of the first and only Tuareg school in the country. Bombino has long held aspirations of developing a Tuareg community center and arts school in Agadez, so the town of Azel holds a special place in his heart.
Second, the word azel means the roots or stems of a tree. This album is a reflection of Bombino's unique place in Tuareg music where he at once honors the traditional roots of the music while also taking it into brand new territory, hence the roots and the stems. Finally, the word azel is also slang in Tamasheq, loosely the equivalent of 'That's my jam!' in American English. The significance of that meaning should be instantly obvious to anyone who listens to this album.1. Akhar Zaman (This Moment)
2. Iwaranagh (We Must)
3. Inar (If You Know The Degree Of My Love For You)
4. Tamiditine Tarhanam (My Love, I Tell You)
5. Timtar (Memories)
6. Iyat Ninhay / Jaguar (A Great Desert I Saw)
7. Igmayagh Dum (My Lover)
8. Ashuhada (Martyrs Of The First Rebellion)
9. Timidiwa (Friendship)
10. Naqqim Dagh Timshar (We Are Left In This Abandoned Place)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
DeranBombino is an internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist and singer-songwriter from Agadez, Niger. His music frequently addresses Tuareg geopolitical concerns and is sung in the Tuareg language of Tamasheq.
Deran is Bombino's (Omara Bombino Moctar) follow up record to 2016's Azel. Deran was recording in Casablanca, Morocco and will be released via PTKF. Previously Bombino has worked with producers such as Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Dave Longstreth (Dirty Projectors).
This album sees a return to his African roots while still pioneering and exploring a new style of Tuareg music which he affectionately calls 'Tuareggae' - a sunny blend of Tuareg blues/rock, reggae one-drop and bounce.1. Imajghane
2. Deran Deran Alkheir (Well Wishes)
7. Adounia Idagh
10. Adouagh Chegren$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hey Eugene!Pink Martini, the genre-bending, best-selling, supremely talented, and raucously fun twelve-piece ensemble returns with Hey Eugene!, a twelve-track sonic journey anchored by deft songwriting and a no-holds-barred dose of cabaret showmanship. Delivered with sultry grace by lead singer China Forbes, Hey Eugene! shines throughout from the golden-era Hollywood melody of Everywhere to the French cabaret of Ojala. Other collaborations anchor the set as well: the pan-world Dosvedanya, Mio Bombino with its Latin-meets-Russian beat and globetrotting subject matter, plus the Forbes-Lauderdale-penned sexy sway of City of Night. Hey Eugene! is an exhilarating album full of uncompromising musicianship, hope, beauty and joy!1. Everywhere
2. Tempo Perdido
3. Mar Desconocido
4. Taya Tan
5. City of Night
7. Bukra Wba'do
8. Cante e Dance
9. Hey Eugene
11. Dosvedanya Mio Bombino
12. Tea for Two$22.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
South Of NowhereSpanish Gold, which features drummer Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket), guitarist Adrian Quesada (formerly of Grupo Fantasma) and guitarist and lead vocalist Dante Schwebel (City and Colour, formerly of Hacienda), release their debut album South of Nowhere on BMG/Del Mar Records.
Produced by the trio along with Collin Dupuis (JEFF the Brotherhood, Bombino), South of Nowhere was recorded by Dupuis at Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Studio in Nashville and at Lalaland in Louisville. Additional recording was done with Jim Eno (Spoon, Poliça) at Public Hi-Fi in Austin and Sam Patlove (The Octopus Project) at Big Orange in Austin.
Of making the new album, Schwebel comments, "We kept finding that we had a lot of the same reference points during the recording. It became evident that we were still children of the MTV era.
We grew up with MTV when it was still a music channel. The way that the programming crossed genres from R&B to hip hop, rock, soul and pop music is how we approach records. It's an album of all those styles. Like watching a random hour of MTV programming circa 1986-1996. It's a nod to Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Madonna, the Beastie Boys or Tom Petty, all with a Texas border town setting. It all adds up to a fun listen that you can keep on repeat."1. One Track Mind
2. South of Nowhere
3. Out On The Street
4. Movin On
5. Day Drinkin
6. Don't Leave Me Dry
7. Ride on Up
8. Lonely Ride
9. Reach for Me
10. Shangri La
11. Stay With Me$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BonesOn The Delta Saints' new album, Bones, their first for Loud & Proud Records, the Nashville-based band have stripped their roots/blues sound down to its essence, having rearranged the elements into something uniquely their own. Steeped in rock 'n' roll's building blocks - country, R&B, soul and gospel - The Delta Saints' second full-length effort explores influences like Jack White, The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses and Led Zeppelin. Producer/engineer/mixer and Third Man Records alum, Eddie Spear [Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young] provided a ghostly, psychedelic atmosphere at Nashville's Sputnik Sound studios, yielding a sound unlike anything they have created before.
"We got to the point where what we were recording and playing had veered from what we were listening to and loving on our turntables, which can lead to discontent," said Louisiana-born singer/lyricist Ben Ringel, who co-founded the band almost eight years ago with fellow Belmont University student, Kansas native bassist David Supica. Soon after, they were joined by Tennessee-bred guitarist Dylan Fitch and later, after a health scare with the band's former harmonica player, enlisted Louisville resident and keyboardist, Nate Kremer, who was added to the lineup only two weeks before a two month long European tour.
Taking a novel approach of writing songs spontaneously in the studio, The Delta Saints were challenged to create in the moment and as a result, Bones is their most adventurous effort yet. The album is a collection of eclectic songs, beginning with The White Stripes-meets-Led Zeppelin fuzz-toned garage-rock blast of "Sometimes I Worry." The spare, spooky strains of "Butte la Rose" tell the band's tale of a Louisiana town purposely flooded and displaced five years ago to save New Orleans. The Grapes of Wrath drama of "Dust," based on Ringel's grandfather, an East Kansas farmer, builds to a primal wail at nature with a stunning coda in which Dylan Fitch's guitar drops out and Kremer's B3 organ provides the climax. The title track, "Bones" features hoodoo organ riffs and African-influenced trance music, which came from listening to the Sahara desert African groove of Niger's Tuareg guitarist Omara "Bombino" Moctar and Mali's Tinariwen. The grindhouse honky-tonk chain gang chants of "Heavy Hammer" celebrates the work ethic in no uncertain terms, a call for unity in the wake of Ringel's frustration about getting stuck in the rat race and feeling trapped by some of life's mundane tasks. "Berlin," the first song they recorded after adding Nate on keys, started out as an instrumental penned in the title city while on tour. It eventually metamorphosed into a country twang intro and a prog-rock jam. Bones is a complete work veering between despair and apocalyptic dread.
"We're trying to push ourselves forward to do something more modern, but at the same time incorporating where we come from," explained Ringel.
"It was incredible to be able to write a song on the spot and immediately hear what it sounded like," added Supica. "It was a great way to capture the magic right when you come up with an idea, preserving that raw element. We were used to playing a song for months on the road before we recorded it. Still, on the flip side, it was absolutely terrifying to sit in the studio watching the clock tick and waiting for a song to come out. That's where (producer) Ed Spear came into play; he was so good at keeping us pointed in the right direction."
"This record was made out of both necessity and desire. We needed to be fulfilled and surprised by music again, and we also needed to fulfill that love of writing and recording again."
The Delta Saints have independently released two EPs (2010's Pray On and A Bird Called Angola), a full-length album (2012's Death Letter Jubilee) and a live disc (2014's Live at Exit/In). They have spent the last eight years touring the US averaging almost 200 shows per year, organically growing their audience, fan by fan, city by city. Major appearances include several festivals including Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Harvest, The Ride, Summerfest and The Simple Man Cruise. A testament to their mixed appeal, they have opened for such diverse acts as Blackberry Smoke, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Taj Mahal, Dickey Betts and Michael Franti & Spearhead.
The Delta Saints have also have a large international fan base having toured Europe a total of six times, selling out countless venues and playing more than 200 shows in Spain, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Germany, as well as several festivals in Holland (Moulin Blues, Ribs and Blues), Belgium (Gevarenwinkel) and Germany (Grolsch Blues Fest).
With all that they've accomplished as a hard-working group on their own, The Delta Saints have earned their graduation to industry veteran Tom Lipsky's Loud & Proud Records (which has been the home of Rush, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Robert Plant, Rob Zombie, Lenny Kravitz and The String Cheese Incident, among others).
"Don't look so tired, my dear," sings Ringel in Bones' closing track, "Berlin," echoing the band's progress. "We may be bruised, but the day is almost here."
"It's hard to see progress when you're in the middle of things," said Supica about The Delta Saints' ambitions. "We try to take stock every six months or so and look back from where we've come, from eating at McDonald's and sleeping on people's floors to staying at a Motel 6 and graduating to La Quinta. We mark our success by the hotel chain where we're staying. When we get to Marriott, we know we've made it."
Bones proves The Delta Saints are well on their way to making that reservation.$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Nomad (Out Of Stock)At the invitation of The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Niger-born Bombino and his band traveled to Nashville for the recording, helmed by Auerbach at his studio, Easy Eye Sound.
Before 2009, Bombino was little known outside Saharan Africa, where his career consisted of regionally available cassettes and roles in local bands. In the last few years, he has begun to find a following abroad. He sold out venues across the US in his first tour here, in 2011, and has garnered the praise of outlets ranging from Pitchfork to NPR's Fresh Air, whose critic Milo Miles called Bombino "a young performer with the charisma and probing imagination to become the first Tuareg star." Auerbach became a fan after a friend saw him perform and thought Auerbach might appreciate his unique style of desert blues.
Born and raised in Niger, in and around the northern city of Agadez, Bombino is a member of the Tuareg Ifoghas tribe, a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa. The Tuareg people have fought the Niger government to secure their rights on numerous occasions, causing Bombino and his family to flee several times. During one such exile, relatives visiting from the front lines of the rebellion left behind a guitar and Bombino began teaching himself to play it. He eventually studied with the renowned Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe, who asked him to join his band, where he acquired the nickname Bombino-a variation on the Italian word for "little child."
While living in Algeria and Libya in his teen years, Bombino's friends played him videos of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler, among others, which they watched over and over in an effort to master their licks. Bombino worked regularly as a musician and also as a herder in the desert near Tripoli, spending many hours alone watching the animals and practicing his guitar. Eventually, Bombino returned to Niger, where he continued to play with a number of local bands. As his legend grew, a Spanish documentary film crew helped Bombino record his first album, Group Bombino's Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2, which became a local radio hit.
In 2009, Bombino met filmmaker Ron Wyman, who had heard a cassette of Bombino's music while traveling near Agadez. Wyman was enchanted by Bombino's music and spent a year seeking him out, eventually tracking him down to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where he was in exile after two band members were killed in a rebellion. (The Tuaregs have since put down their arms and returned to Niger.) Wyman featured Bombino in a documentary he was filming about the Tuareg and also produced his 2011 solo album, Agadez.
Writing about Bombino's 2011 album Agadez, NPR Music praised the artist's "sublime guitar licks," which Pitchfork has described as "scorching." The BBC has said, "[Bombino's music] holds hidden power beneath its deceptive simplicity, with many a tune devolving into blistering guitar jams, following chanted vocals about the struggle for unity and self-determination, as well as the longing that love brings, and the difficulties facing a life of shepherd's solitude."1. Amidinine
2. Ahulakamine Hulan
3. Asamane Tiliade
5. Niamey Jam
7. Her Tenere
11. Tamiditine$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Agadez (Out Of Stock)Omara Bombino Moctar, a young Tuareg guitarist and songwriter, was raised during an era of armed struggles for independence and violent suppression by government forces. His electrifying jams capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion while echoing with guitar riffs reminiscent of fellow Africans Tinariwen and Ali Farka TourÉ not to mention rock and blues icons such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Page. Already a superstar in the Tuareg community, with the release of Agadez on Cumbancha Discovery Bombino's stature as one of Africa's hottest young guitarists has been revealed to the world.Side 1
1.Ahoulaguin Akaline (I Greet My Country)
2.Tar Hani (My Love)
4.Kammou Taliat (You, My Beloved)
5.Tigrawahi Tikma (Bring Us Together)
6.Tenere (The Desert, My Home)
7.Iyat Idounia Ayasahen (Another Life)
8. Azamane (My Brothers United)
9. Assalam Felawan (Peace To You)
10. Mahegagh (What Shall I Do?)
11. Tebsakh Dalet (A Green Acacia)
12. Adinet (Tuareg People)
13. Tigrawahi Tikma (Live Version)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock