|Various Artists / Rough Guide Desert Blues|
|Album:||Rough Guide Desert Blues||Collection:||World|
|Label:||World Music Network|
|Add Date:||2010-10-03||Pull Date:||2010-12-05||Charts:||Reggae/World|
|Week Ending:||5 Dec||28 Nov||21 Nov||14 Nov||7 Nov||31 Oct||24 Oct||17 Oct|
|1.||Jul 16, 2022:||Hanging In The Bone Yard |
|4.||Feb 03, 2015:||Plumbotectonics |
|2.||Apr 25, 2019:||Cafe Nakhil |
|5.||Nov 15, 2013:||Aporeia |
Ténéré Wer Tat Zinchegh
|3.||Dec 23, 2017:||Music Casserole (Bliues Marathon) |
Anadjibo, Bambugu Blues
|6.||Oct 06, 2012:||The Sunset Life |
Rough Guide to Desert Blues|
Reviewed by Sadie O., 10/1/10
Roots of American blues, with essence of Sahara. Most of the artists are from Mali, a few from Niger, Western Sahara and elsewhere in the southern Maghreb. Music tends to be fairly sparse, sometimes just an electric guitar and slight bit of hand percussion. Most vocals are male lead and female response, but there are a couple of excellent female singers amongst the mix. Mostly beautiful, sometimes mysterious sounding, all good to great.
1. 4:50 ***random electric guitars come together to form gentle, rolling groove, lovely vocals chanted in unison. This is from the Touareg in Mali, but it’s got a Woodstock vibe, somehow. Regardless, it’s gorgeous.
2. 5:06 **staccato picking, similar to gnawa. Almost whispered bass vocals, very trance-like and beautiful. Lilting, almost a lullaby. Pretty kora solo. Wish I had a dad who would sing me to sleep like this, but my dad favored Stravinsky, and anyhow, he’s dead. But I digress…
3. 5:40 **quavery electric guitar intro, slow swaying gentle groove with male lead and female response. Artist needs no introduction, I hope.
4. 5:29 ***unabashedly electric guitar, swingy camel-gait midtempo groove, fatter instrumentation than other tracks so far, male vocals and female response, lots of spoken vocals. (We have this track on a Tinariwen CD.)
5. 4:09 ***”live” sounding electric guitar, very bluesy female vocals, minimal percussion, flute. Altogether rather eerie and strange.
6. 7:07 **random intro – bit of voice, guitar, hand drum, gradually turn into rather upbeat, chugging groove. Wodaabe band, very showy to look at, nice percussion.
7. 5:04 ***slow “country blues” style electric guitar, unique, throaty female vocals. Builds a lot of intensity, esp. in the guitars.
8. 3:23 ***”street sounds”, uptempo and upbeat groove with lots of percussion. Well-loved blind husband and wife duo. (We also have this track on an Amadou & Mariam CD.)
9. 5:24 **“clean” sounding guitar intro, midtempo loping groove, male lead and female response. There’s something that sounds like a home-made violin in there, too. False ending halfway through, comes back uptempo.
10. 4:32 ***very pretty loping midtempo groove, prominent hand drums, male lead and female response. Another false ending and uptempo comeback this one with ululations.
11. 4:46 ***quavery guitar intro, male vocals that sound rather like recitation of the Quran, or at least recorded in a mosque. No other vocals or instrumentation. Very highly ornamented, however. Oh! Here comes the rest of the band, 2 minutes along, very slow loping groove.
12. 3:51 **slow single drum beats and random sounds intro. Relaxed solo biram (lute) and double-time hand drum. No vocals, except for very occasional strange whooping sounds.
13. 5:11 ***VERY melancholy and mysterious, sparse, but with sounds like wind whooshing. Almost strangled sounding vocals.
Disk 2 – Etran Finatawa
Wodaabe group from Niger, regarded as having “modernized” traditional Wodaabe music. It still has a very ancient sound, although they feature a very much electric guitar and simple but meaty electric bass and trap drums. The music tends to be very simple and monochordal, with (usually all male) call and response vocals, but lots of trills and flourishes in the guitar solos. Provides an idea of the African roots of the field hollers and one-string cigar box banjo that were a major root of blues in America.
1. 5:33 **midtempo loping, trance-like chant, call & response vocals, guitar and a bit of drums.
2. 5:05 ***rather groovy midtempo swing, kinda rockin’ in a way.
3. 3:42 ****downbeat, bluesy, sort of stumbling crawl (you try it, go ahead), cool guitar.
4. 5:49 **upbeat midtempo groove, guitar and vocals playing same melody.
5. 3:53 **prolonged hollers at intro. Swingy hand percussion starts after a few seconds. Some female vocals in chorus, no other instrumentation, except for a couple of brief, breathy flute solos. Very roots sound.
6. 4:57 ***bluesy solo guitar intro, then swaying midtempo country blues sound.
7. 5:41 **hand percussion intro, midtempo sway. Elaborate guitar solos.
8. 5:27 ***drawn out call and response intro, slightly downtempo loping groove, some female vocals (and two chords!) Hints of what sounds like a simple banjo.
9. 5:08 **very bluesy guitar intro, drawn out hollers, midtempo groove with handclaps for percussion.
10. 4:22 **hand drums and hand claps, call & response, little else (except a few whoops and hand percussion break in the middle) – very roots.