Omar “Bombino” Moctar has achieved something of guitar-god status in certain quarters after building a career as one of the most notable Tuareg musicians to emerge from North Africa. As with the Tuareg group Tinariwen, Bombino's popularity is growing in the States. When The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach discovered Bombino, he invited the "desert blues" master to his Nashville studio, where they recorded the divinely textured Nomad. Bombino also sings and writes his own material, and his distinctive guitar style is a perfect subject for Auerbach's producer talents. Nomad is a gorgeous work that blends Bombino's earthy vocals and hypnotic, repetitive guitar style with other instruments—like bass, Farfisa organ, lap steel, djembe, and percussion—to create a vibrant, lush soundscape that celebrates both western rock guitar and the sounds of the Saharan Tuareg. Songs like "Amidinine" and "Azamane Tiliade" reverberate and pulse with a distorted, bluesy Black Keys vibe, while other songs, like the softly percussion-driven "Ahulakamine Hulan" and the mesmerizing "Zigzan," are rich with Middle Eastern flavors. A treasure.

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