Bombino – “Nomad”

“This sounds like Bob Dylan meets Bob Marley.”

That was Holly’s observation just after we flipped over to side B of Bombino’s latest release, Nomad.  I’d been racking my brain trying to come up with the appropriate name to finish the sentence, “Bombino is like the Tuareg [insert famous awesome guitarist here].”  But who was the the right guitarist?  Santana?  Joe Satriani?  Nigel Tufnel?  Then it dawned on me that Bombino isn’t really like any other guitarist I’ve ever heard before, and that is part of his greatness.

The 33 year old musician was born Omara Moctar to the Tuareg people in Nigeria, though he spent his formative years in Algeria when his family moved there to escape warfare in his native land, and it was there that he first picked up a guitar.  He brings a style to the guitar that is kind of unique to our American ears – it doesn’t sound Western, nor is it what we normally associate with “Eastern” sounds like those that influenced Jimmy Page as his career progressed.  Bombino is somewhere in the middle… and somewhere different all together.  He’s got a unique style, a solid backing band, and vocals that carry a different cadence than what we’re used to, and it all comes together well.  Nomad Is his third studio album and has been getting a lot of positive press, and deservedly so.

I’m always on the look out for something different.  Something familiar but done in a different way and with a unique style.  And Bombino does that on Nomad with the electric guitar.  I suspect we’ll be hearing more from him in the future, and I for one am glad.

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