The Sahara Circle of Life: Imarhan and Tinariwen’s “Elwan”

Sixteen years ago, a group called Tinariwen (the word for “deserts” in the Tamashek language) burst onto the world music scene with a performance at Mali’s Festival au Désert and subsequent performances in Europe. Since that time, the group has served as the unofficial musical ambassadors of the nomadic Touareg people and the “desert blues”, or assouf, music of the…

Hurray for the Riff-Raff’s “Small Town Heroes”: Soothing Protest Songs from the Big Easy

Good morning, PineTreeRepublic citizens! This month’s WorldBeat post features an album that oozes with the rich traditions of America’s pre-eminent musical city, New Orleans. As it takes us on a journey of soothing bluegrass, folk, blues, and rhythm & blues tunes, this album packs enough lyrical bite to make us contemplate the social ills plaguing a city that, perhaps in some…