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Band World Blues


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“Electric guitars and traditional instrument sent wine like old friends as rustic call-and-response vocals stir up the desert heat. Comparisons aside, this debut is dynamite.” - Global Rythm


“I don’t imagine Toareg or Wodaabe music has a very prominent spot on your iPod or CD tower, and you really couldn’t be blamed for not knowing the difference between an Ekenan and a camel. But when ten musicians from two nomadic tribes in Niger decided to cross the language and cultural barriers that divided them and form a band, they ended up creating a new blend of traditional and modern music that has begun to be heard around the world…. Etran Finatawa’s debut album one of the finest releases this year." - Exclaim"


Just listen to the guitar solos on A Dunya and you'll be instantly seduced by the beauty of this music which has its roots in the West African country of Niger. Marvel at Iledeman and in the driving 12-bar structure you can hear the real roots of American blues. - Sydney Morning Herald


2006: Introducing - ETRAN FINATAWA on World Music Network
2008: Desrt Corssroads - ETRAN FINATAWA on World Music Network



Among the grasslands of the Sahel and the shifting dunes of the Sahara desert, two legendary nomadic peoples,
the Wodaabe and Tuareg, are joined together in the raunchy guitars and haunting voices of Etran Finatawa.
As the winds of change cast uncertainty over their nomadic lifestyle, both cultures are at a crossroads. Etran
Finatawa reflect on their roots, with a nostalgia and warmth that mirrors the majesty of their desert home.
Etran Finatawa release their second album, Desert Crossroads, on World Music Network on Monday 21 April 2008 (22
April in USA).
They are six musicians – Tuareg and Wodaabe people but now based in Niamey, Niger. Many of the songs on this album
reflect their longing to return to their roots – the nomadic lifestyle which relies on cattle, the great expanse of the Sahelian
grasslands and never-ending dunes of the Sahara.
Since the release of their first BBC Award-nominated album (Introducing: Etran Finatawa, 2006) the band toured constantly
all over the world. It wasn’t until July 2007 that they found time to go into London’s Livingstone Studios to record Desert
Crossroads, an album of new material that had been developed while touring and produced by Paul Borg (Mory Kanté,
Abdel Gadir Salim).
Desert Crossroadsis an album of North African blues, underpinned by acoustic percussion, traditional Wodaabe vocals,
fused with electric guitar and Tuareg rhythms. The combination of Wodaabe vocals and Tuareg rhythms and arrangements
is quite unique. The songs are nostalgic reflections on their people and the desert. ‘Kel Tamasheck’ (The Tuareg People)
reminds how important the Tuareg culture is and not to abandon the desert, ‘the wind that takes everything on its way and
people just fled by foot leaving behind them nothing but sadness and desolation’. ‘Iguefan’ (The Dune) talks of the worries of
the Tuaregs ‘this unique people existing but they are all dispersed...and they are not able to get together and reunite to show
that they are one people.’
‘Gaynaako’ (The Herdsman) is a Wodaabe song in praise of the nomad who tends his animals so precious to life in the
desert ‘the guy who walks behind his animals, carrying only a flute, a herding stick and a bottle of water with him....just him
and his animals’ but also describes the worries of losing their culture. ‘Naanaaye’, another Wodaabe song, is about healing,
creating the different calling sounds of animals, the flute, the hand clapping, which instantly takes you to the dunes and
grasslands of Etran Finatawa’s homelands.
This album is about rapid change threatening age-old traditions – a warning that their rich culture and identity must be
cherished and allowed to flourish. ‘We don’t understand it when you say “rich” and “poor”. For us the riches are the animals
in our herds, our riches are our traditions that give us the values that we have lived by for generations.’ (Alhousseini Mohamed
Anivolla, Etran Finatawa)