Vagabon Tribe / Blog

Vagabon Tribe, Suomi Finland

Well, we finally go our first show in Helsinki under our belt. It was a really great beginning for this group of musicians. We had a great turnout, a full house at Caisa Cultural Center.

This was the first time that this particular group of musicians performed on stage. Jussi Hamalainen really wowed the crowd with his guitar playing. The group had a whole new vibe and feel behind the lead of Ale Diaz on vocals.

The Suomi project is on hiatus for the summer as Rusty goes back to North Carolina and continues with the Carolina Sessions. The tribe will be back performing in Helsinki and the greater Baltic region next October.

Thanks to all the new fans who came to see us play.

Vagabon Tribe in the USA

As a collection of musicians who have moved around a lot and done many different activites, we felt the name would be appropriate. It also fits the concept of the group, having various front people from different parts of the world join the group for selected performances.

The kamel n'goni is a 12-string lute-harp, from the Wassalou region of Mali. It is a popular version of the doson n'goni (hunter's harp).

One can hear the heavy West African influence in our music, with a blend of Arabic, Caribbean, and Americana flavors. We are not trying to play any specific style, but to draw on many styles to create quality, fun music.

Most of the songs on our page are unique musical compositions by Rusty, with songs by Djoba and Seidou built around the music. A couple are original arrangements of traditional songs.

Vagabon Tribe is: Djoba - Vocals Siedou Sow - Vocals Rusty Eklund - Kamel N'Goni Papis Diarra - Keys, Bass, Bala Nate Finestead - Guitar Ryan Mullin - Percussion

Half the music on our upcoming album was composed by Rusty in Iowa, 2009, the other half in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Djoba and Seidou built songs around the music, except for "Destiny" which comes from a session of improvisation in Nouakchott.

Wassalou Blues Adapted from a traditional Malian Wassalou melody. Djoba wishes everyone a good life in this song.

Listen to Me (Degeloma) Djoba and Seidou pull off a beautiful duet singing about a conversation between a woman and a man, Fatou and Doudou, where they give each other advice about dealing with their partners.

Amerikana Mali An interpretation of a Malian bonkolo drum rhythm, Komo Foly, adapted for the kamel n'goni. Seidou sings about how we often allow our thoughts to take us to far away places.

M'Beguel (To Love) An original arrangement of a traditional Malian melody, Bani. Djoba sings about the joys of love. Jeje plays a beautiful compliment to Djoba's voice with great lines on the Xalam.

Joyful Noise (Goongo) Seidou sings about the joys of life, as if singing to someone else, telling them about the joy he feels every time he sees them.

Nobody's Perfect Djoba sings about a man who is seemingly perfect. The music is built around a Maraka rhythmic concept from Mali. we put this into a Mauritanian key and Jeje Cheick Aly offers up some tasty lines on Xalam.

Remember to Say Goodbye (Wayno Mii) Seidou let's us know that we must always remember to say goodbye when going on a journey, otherwise people will worry. This is the first piece of music Rusty composed in Nouakchott.