Recent Jams: Bombino and Patty Griffin

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, scanning book chapters, and taking notes, trying my damnedest to start writing this next dissertation chapter. When working, I usually listen to classical music or something mellow and rootsy, the kind of music that helps thoughts coalesce.

NPR recently posted a list of its “25 Favorite Albums of the Year (So Far),” and a couple have been on heavy rotation here at my computer.

Omara “Bombino” Moctar’s Nomad is a gritty, bluesy, and hypnotic triumph of roots guitar. According to NPR, Bombino, a Nigerian and member of the Tuareg tribe, uses his songs to “document the struggle of his nomadic people.” No matter than I can’t understand a word of his lyrics. His guitar does the talking.

“Azamane Tiliade”

Patty Griffin’s American Kid is a smoldering and thoughtful mix of traditional bluegrass, gospel, and country music in the same vien as Allison Kraus. The similarity is most apparent in her song “Ohio,” where she is joined by none other than Robert Plant, Kraus’s collaborator on Raising Sand. His voice was made for such pairings.


You can listen to both albums on Spotify, as well as check out NPR‘s full list for more great music:

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