By the time Tal National reached international acclaim with 2013’s ‘Kaani’, the band’s first release outside of Niger, they had spent more than a decade crisscrossing their native country, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week, selling their CDs on street corners and roundabouts. In the process, they became Niger’s most popular band, with songs constantly blasting on national TV and cell phones everywhere. Following their international debut, Western audiences and critics quickly embraced the band’s singular and finely-honed sound. NPR was hit by “the band’s tightness and fiery energy”. The Guardian praised “their full-tilt approach, and hypnotic intensity”. After listing ‘Kaani’ as its top 10 albums of 2013, The New York Times wrote that “the music keeps leaping ahead with one surprise after another: guitar parts that align and diverge and reconfigure, drumming that pounces on offbeats. The patterns are crisp, complex and tireless”. Niger borders Nigeria, Mali, and Ghana. Songhai, Fulani, Hausa, and Tuareg populations can be found within this former French colony , all of whom are represented in the membership of Tal National. As such, the nation enjoys a varied mix of cultures and ethnicities, all richly steeped in music. It is no stranger to highlife, kora and afrobeat music, while giving the world Tuareg Blues and a unique brand of hip-hop. This is what you can hear in Tal National’s music: rolling 12/8 rhythms in the Hausa’s fuji percussion, the pensive aridity of the Tuareg’s assouf, and the exquisite griot guitar of Mali’s Songhai, all delivered with virtuoso precision and unrelenting energy. On stage, Tal National’s six musicians regularly change places midway through songs, including the phenomenal drummers who swap places without missing a beat. Their Baltimore debut will be a dance party to shake the walls with a power and virtuosity rarely seen on any stage in the U.S. ABOUT OUTCALLS Led by vocalists Melissa Wimbish and Britt Olsen-Ecker, both classically trained musicians, Outcalls, who will open for Tal National, draw inspiration from political and social events and fill their music with melodic and harmonic surprises. Their songs unfold in chapters and have a cinematic quality. Their sound is soulfully danceable and mesmerizing.