Formed in the southern Sahara, Grammy-winning ensemble Tinariwen has been playing its unique brand of desert blues for over 30 years. The group created a modern desert rock sound, transposing traditional melodies of the Tuareg on the electric guitar and mixing them with blues, rock, pop, Berber, and Arabic influences.
Their latest release, Amadjar, is a nomadic album recorded in a camp to an audience of scorpions and is as close as you can get to Tinariwen. It is also a testament to the idea that things can evolve: bassist Eyadou plays a lot of acoustic guitar; percussionist Said tries his hand at new instruments; Abdallah exhumes songs that he’s never played on stage with Tinariwen. Amadjar means “the unknown visitor” in Tamashek, the one who seeks hospitality and who’s condemned to an inner exile, within a territory or within himself—just like the members of Tinariwen, who feel at home on the journey, around the fire with a few immutable songs.