When: Sun., June 9, 8 p.m. 2013
Nigerien singer and guitarist Omara “Bombino” Moctar has hardly been reluctant to tailor his music to Western audiences, but his latest album, Nomad (Nonesuch), proves that not even working with a recognizable producer can make his music any less recognizable. Audiences outside Africa got their first taste of him in 2009, when Sublime Frequencies released Guitars From Agadez Vol. 2, a collection of wonderfully raw field recordings by Group Bombino, and he worked in proper studios for his 2011 solo debut, Agadez, which was cut partly in Niger and partly in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nomad was produced in Nashville by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who gave it a blown-out, organ-stoked sound without encroaching on Bombino’s parched, nasal singing and stabbing, clipped guitar leads. On many tracks the drumming of Bombino’s Nigerien bandmate Ibrahim Atchinguil Emoud is complemented by a second set of cycling rhythms played by studio guest Max Weissenfeldt, and together they adapt the phasing cycles of clip-clopping Tuareg hand percussion to conventional drum kits. Bobby Emmett’s keyboards and Russ Pahl’s occasional pedal steel bring out the soulfulness in Bombino’s original compositions, and even the slight gloss of the production complements the band well. For this show they’ll be without all those studio guests—but their usual scrappiness sounds great too. —Peter Margasak Eleven Dollar Bills open.