2016 Honorable Mention Pick 21

Noura Mint Seymali: Arbina (Glitterbeat, 2016).

I love this West African outfit. Seymali is a singing giant and her husband is totally boss on the guitar. He is a rock god regardless of genre. Her husband has musical training where he can hear her singing and then play a melody very close to her vocal back in response. He also sports this circular style that is hypnotic. The drummer is a white guy who does a solid job of laying back and letting these two do their thing. I saw them live last year and they had a 7 foot tall funky bass player. I don’t know if he’s on the record but the rhythm section is very solid but not what you come for.

Either they misordered the record or I’m not very bright, but I enjoy the record as it moves through the songs and I find some of the playing in the last third record to be pretty mindblowing. My favorite track on the record is Ghlana — I’ve attached a live version in the second clip below to give a you a taste of what these guys can do. The studio version is an African knockoff of Jimmy Page’s guitar playing style from peak Led Zeppelin.

Check these guys out.


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