How wonderful to see that the hypnotic, “old soul” guitar-driven magic of Tinariwen will once again grace our shores. They have a new album called Emmaar coming out February 11, with a North American tour planned for February and March. This new release will be the follow-up to their Grammy award-winning 2011 album Tassili, which was recorded in a tent in the Algerian desert. This time around, due to continuing political tensions and instability in their homeland of Mali, they recorded in a home studio located in a U.S. desert — Joshua Tree, California. The music features their trademark powerful electric guitar sound and traditional drumming, and was recorded in a natural live setting, with all the musicians performing in one room together. The recording features original members from the group’s beginnings in the 1980s (vocalists and guitarists Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni, and Alhassane Ag Touhami) and newer members from the 1990s (multi-instrumentalist Eyadou Ag Leche, guitarist Elaga Ag Hamid, and percussionist Said Ag Ayad). They also invited some American artists to join them — Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Matt Sweeney from Chavez, Nashville fiddler Fats Kaplin, and poet Saul Williams. Good heavens. I can’t wait to hear this. For now, here’s a small taste — the official video for “Toumast Tincha.”
To help with the costs of touring, Tinariwen have a crowdsourcing campaign at Microcultures. Donate some funds and support their amazing music and their vision. In return, there’s all sorts of great items such as the upcoming CD, vinyl, autographs, show tickets and t-shirts, all the way up to an autographed guitar or an acoustic performance in your home! Give what you can. The France-based Microcultures is “an indie production company that offers preorders and subscriptions in order to fund creative projects, pays artists better, and deliver awesome rewards.”
I can’t recommend Tinariwen’s music and live show highly enough. I had the great honor of seeing these stellar musicians the last time they were at the Paradise Rock Club, and they were absolutely astonishing. The Boston show is again at the Paradise on Tuesday, March 25. See their official site for all the tour dates. To read about this group’s fascinating history, see the article I wrote about them last year.