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CD REVIEW: Desert Blues 2
By Ben Ohmart - 01/03/2003 - 03:55 PM EST

Artist: Compilation: Desert Blues 2
CD Review: Seven thousand years in the making? Yes. Desert Blues 2 is the sequel to, you guessed it, Ambiances du Sahara: Desert Blues, which sold more than 100k copies, won the German Phonographic Critics Prize and remained on the World Music Charts Europe for 3 months.

Though I’ve not heard the first volume, this sequel would be hard to top. 2.5 hours on 2 cds, with a picture-studded, multi-lingual booklet make this an Exciting anthology for World Music heads.

The 26 tracks are guitar-driven blues that are a far cry from the black soul sort that dominates the USA. Here’s what you get:

Egypt: Soliman Gamil
Algeria: Hasna el Becharia, Kadda Cherif Hadria, Cheb Mami
Morocco: Majid Bekkas
West Sahara: Aziza Brahim & Tarba Bibo, Teita Leibid & Luis Delgado
Mali/Tuareg: Tartit
Mali: Boubacar Traoré, Rokia Traoré, Djélimady Tounkara, Habib Koité, Lobi Traoré, Nahawa Doumbia
Guinea: Djeli Moussa Diawara & Bob Brozman, Momo Wandel Soumah, Grand Papa Diabaté & Sona Diabaté

Senegal: El Hadj N'Diaye, Mansour Seck, Yandé Codou Sène & Youssou N'Dour
Sudan: Rasha
Ethiopia: Netsanet Mellessé & Wallias Band
Lebanon, Algeria, Mali: Abaji

It’s also one of the Cleanest world music compilations you’re ever going to hear. Did they bring all of these people into the same studio to lay down their culture? Or is the mixer some kind of god? Either way, buy this without thinking.

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