When it comes to guitar armies, Tinariwen has everyone else beat. The Malian collective features a multitude of brilliant guitarists whose multilayered interplay seamlessly blends psychedelic hypnosis, bluesy solitude and traditional West African influences. But many band members also fought in an actual army, as rebel Tuareg soldiers against the Malian government, before making peace and moving away from violence in the early 1990s. Tinariwen's tangled backstory was told in the fascinating documentary that accompanied their 2009 album, Imidiwan: Companions, but what really matters is their music, which in recent years has shifted from the acoustic idyll Tassili back to the full electric power of their new release, Emmaar.
Thu., April 17, 9 p.m., 2014
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