Live Review: Guitar Great Bombino at the Columbus Theatre
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Related Slideshow: Live Review: Guitar Great Bombino at Columbus Theatre
Bombino, born Omara Moctar, is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and singer-songwriter from Agadez, Niger. He is ethnically Tuareg, a tribal people centered in and around the Sahara Desert. After years of playing locally (while he also a shepherd), he was discovered in Niger in 2007 by filmmaker Hisham Mayet.
The show opened with an acoustic set, before Bombino really kicked it into gear on electric guitar. His style is sometimes referred to as Desert Blues, a genre closely associated with American Blues. His playing has been compared to greats like Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana and his idol Jimi Hendrix.
The band played several from the 2013 album Nomad, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. His sound is mesmorizing, with a hypnotic trance-like vibe. Bombino merges styles on guitar, with influences from blues to surf rock, all over an African beat.
He also played several from his 2016 album Azel, a funkier reggae-influenced release. Sung in the Tuareg lauguage of Tamasheq, the message behind his songs, on universal topics of spirituality, love, and struggle, came through loud and clear.
Bombino is a charismatic figure in his desert robes, connecting cultures through music. His band tours the country frequently appearing in festivals and solo shows. The sell-out crowd Friday night was a testament to his growing talent.
Opening band Ladama is a unique collaborative of four musicians from four different nations. NYC based Sara Luckas (pictured) leads on vocals. The band also includes Venezuelan Maria Fernanda Gonzalez on bandola, a guitar-like instrument, percussionist Daniela Serna from Columbia and Brazilian drummer Lara Klaus. Bass player of South Kingston joined the band Friday night.
The band tore through several Latin American folk tunes including "Pajarillo" and "Porro Maracatu." The percussion-centered band is full of energy and had the audience on its feet. They are preparing an album for release in the near future. Keep an eye out! (Pictured: Lara Klaus)
- Live Review: Patty Griffin at the Columbus Theatre
- Live Review: Rhodes and Friends Rip Up the Columbus
- Live Review: Drive-By Truckers at Columbus Theatre
- Live Review: Jonathan Edwards at Purple Cat Vineyard
- Live Review: Cash Charms at The Vets
- Live Review: Darlene Love Brings Christmas Cheer to Cranston
- Live Review: Solid Soul at The Vets