Posted in African Blues, Just Wondering, Music

Of Two Minds

Thinking a lot about immigrants and immigration lately. That’s certainly not the only disaster looming over our horizon, but the human element affects me strongly. Maybe it’s because of the music I’ve started listening to – a strange admixture of blues and the traditional music of the Sahara desert. There’s been a great deal of dislocation in that part of the world, and not in just the places we’ve all heard about. You can hear that pain in the music. Colonial Europe has a lot to answer for, I think. Just read about the Belgians in the Congo, or the fact that colonial powers arbitrarily divided countries in the Middle East without regard for traditional tribal or ethnic boundaries.

There are a lot of bands out that way: Tinariwen, Tamikrest, Bombino and more. With any luck, their electric guitars and international tour schedules will eventually take the place of IEDs and automatic rifles. In any event, they’re trying.

This song is a rock opera of sorts – powerful, but plaintive and rare as rainfall in the desert. Jimi Hendrix with orchestral backup. It makes me feel pensive and divided between one path or the other. Yes or no. Here or gone.