Formed in 1979, Tinariwen did not record their first album until 2001. Having faced incredible hardship all their lives, the core of the eight-piece group stayed together playing as often as they could, even through the dangers of civil war and revolution in and around their homeland in the West African nation of Mali. Their sound; inspired by the vast, beautiful and melancholy Sahara Desert where their latest album, 2009’s Imidiwan, was recorded is reminiscent of early American folk and blues with distinct African strains. They will be playing the Highline Ballroom in NYC on Feb. 18. $25 adv $30 dos. myspace.com/tinariwen.