Tinariwen means "deserts" in Tomashek, the language of the Tuareg, a nomadic people who inhabit the Sahel regions of Northern and West Africa. It's also the name of a Tuareg band from Mali that makes hypnotic, guitar-driven "desert blues" their calling card. They play this Sunday (11/13) at The Cat's Cradle; intoxicating, Swiss singer/songwriter Sophie Hunger opens the 8 pm show.
Tinariwen on tour last month in Los Angeles. Photo (c) Timothy Norris.
Formed originally in 1979, Tinariwen broke out as an international touring band ten years ago, and has since produced five albums. Their latest, Tassili, takes its name from an Algerian region of spare beauty where they recorded outdoors and an impromptu tent studio. As that method suggests, they are returning to acoustic roots on this album. Here's a documentary about the process:
A bit more plugged in, here's a nice little rocker from their last album Imidiwan: Companions (2008):
Sit around the virtual campfire this Sunday (11/13) at Cat's Cradle; advance tix $22, day of show $25.
Cat's Cradle, Sunday, November 13, 8 pm TINARIWEN
Tinariwen artist website
Sophie Hunger artist myspace (opener)