Its pretty hard to open for the Rolling Stones and still keep your cred among the world-music purists. But Tinariwen manage to stay unsullied by the adulation that greeted their emergence on the popular circuit three years ago (when Earshot first brought the group here). The bands Sahara-born sound of vocals, guitars, and hand claps is stark, rolling, gorgeous, and hypnotic, with the austere, unsentimental cries of American blues-guitar tradition. This is definitely not Starbucks-ready, synthed-up, happy-Afro pop but has the toughened, forlorn beauty of leader Ibrahim Ag Alhabibs gaze. A little more processed and commercial, but still affecting, is opener Vieux Farka Touré (son of the famous Ali), a Malian guitarist with a voice thats a classic soaring West African alto. Part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.
Wed., Oct. 31, 8 p.m., 2007