September 11 2013
Indeed. That's exactly what I'll be doing on Saturday, September 21st at Humboldt Park when Milwaukee's only global music festival gets into gear. Alverno Presents: Global Union, is a one-day extavaganza of diverse, global sounds in beautiful Bay View. Yours truly is the on-stage host of the event and I can't wait till I can introduce Tal National to you all...
Tal National are from Niamey, the capital city of Niger. A domestic phenomenon, they’ve had several #1 songs in their home country and are constantly featured on national TV - folks in Niger leave their TV’s on and use them as boomboxes. And yet, they sell their discs on the street, at roundabouts, since there is no distribution system in the country. Tal National’s last CD pressing sold out in just one day.
Niger is West Africa’s largest nation, and one of the world’s poorest. Resting between Mali and Nigeria, and not far from Ghana, it enjoys a greatly varied mix of cultures and ethnicities, all richly steeped in music. Hence it is no stranger to highlife music, kora music, afrobeat, while giving the world ‘Tuareg Blues’ and its own brand of hip hop. The result is a joyously hypnotic, highly unique contribution to West African guitar music. Tal National are bringing something entirely new to the table, and the population grow increasingly unified in their passion for it.
The band is driven by the charismatic, forward-thinking bandleader, Hamadal “Almeida” Moumine, who also teaches at the local SOS Children's Village twice a week, serves as a judge in local courts, and had a successful soccer career before becoming Niger’s best-loved guitarist. Turning a dust-covered, half-abandoned studio into their rough-and-ready home base with help from Chicago-based producer Jamie Carter, Tal National laid down tracks all day, only to dash off to five-hour shows later in the evening. Carter sent the tracks along to FatCat, and the open-eared label signed Tal National in 2013.
Couldn't have said it better myself.