Monday, September 1, 2014

More About Today's Music




Older readers who are serious fans of The Band will likely remember that guitarist (and self-appointed band leader) Robbie Robertson is 1/2 Mohawk, whose mother was from the Six Nations Reserve in Canada.  As a solo artist, he became deeply involved in modern Native American music--a tendency that started in baby steps on his first solo albums in the early 1990's and took off with a passion with his being hired to produce the soundtrack for the mini-series The Native Americans, produced by TBS (more about that later, in fact tomorrow!) There are several version of this iconic Band song, this is from their 1970 studio release Stage Fright.  Happy listening and welcome to September!

The Band 1970 (Robertson second from left).  Photo Source: unknown

Sunday, August 31, 2014

More About Today's Music





This cover of Lead Belly's classic "Goodnight Irene" dates from 1964 (as apparently all of the cover tracks that Hendrix recorded with Little Richard long before he made is British debut).  Hendrix was one of two musicians of native ancestry to be first inducted into the brand new Native American Music Hall Of Fame in 1998 (the other being the late Buddy Red Bow, a well known country musician from Pine Ridge).  Hendrix's ancestry was Tsalagi (Cherokee)/African/Irish.  This song is just such a treat no matter who records it, but it is fun to hear some of the other Hendrix stuff, before he became the world sensation that he did, which arguably led to his tragic and very untimely death at the age of just 27 in 1970.  RIP to them both!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

More About Today's Music




Even if you are familiar with Mimi Farina as a younger sister of folk legend Joan Baez, you may be unaware that their physicist father was Mexican (their mother being Scottish).  She was born Margarita Mimi Baez, she became Mimi Farina after marrying Greenwich Village folk sensation Richard Farina, who was of Cubano-Galician and Irish descent, in 1963.  Together they recorded songs from both the folk tradition and the newly emerging electric early rock style--most of which were original compositions.  This is of the later genre.  Richard was killed on Mimi's 21 birthday in 1966.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More About Today's Music




This is actually not just an Otis Taylor song, it comes from his latest release that bears the same title as the song, half of the songs on the album feature Mato Nanji, from the Native familiar blues rock band Indigenous (more from them at a later date).  It is Mato's voice that you here singing the chorus, being the preeminent guitar player that his is, he also plays on the track as well.  Of late Nanji, who is named for and descended from the great Ponca war chief Standing Bear, has been doing quite a bit of collaborative work.  In addition to this album, he appears on yet another 2013 release working with David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Luther Dickinson, former Black Crowes guitarist and leader of the North Mississippi Allstars (more from them later on as well).  More from these two coming as well.

Otis Taylor

Mato Nanji

Saturday, August 16, 2014

More About Today's Music




I am a real sucker for collecting movie soundtracks, so much so that I have to limit myself to just one per months for budgetary reasons.  I have been a lifelong fan of Ry Cooder and both a solo act and as a collaborator with all sorts of other musicians, very many of them from the Chicano and Native areas in California and Texas.  For example, he has played with the absolutely sublime Flaco Jimenez, accordion genius since the 1970's (more about Flaco at a later date!).  So, it went without saying that when Cooder starting composing for the pictures, I went a bit ga-ga.  This the main title for the 1993 Walter Hill (one of my favorite independent director!) film entitle Geronimo:  An American Legend, starring Wes Studi (Tsalagi) [pictured above], Jason Patric (of Lost Boys fame), Gene Hackman, Robert Duval, Matt Damon, Rodney Grant (Omaha), Steve Reevis (Blackfeet) and a whole host of other talent, both Native and non-Native.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

More About Today's Songs




Composer and pianist Peter Kater (who was born in Germany) frequently collaborates with other musicians, many of the them Native.  He he teamed up with Native Flautist extraordinaire R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo Dineh/Ute/Zuni) to produce the soundtrack for the 1993 television mini-series How The West Was Lost.  This is just one part of the original soundtrack, which went on to have a second release of extra music.  The songs heard here are listed below.


1:  How The West Was Lost
2:  Dull Knife and Little Wolf
3:  The West
4:  Crazy Horse Prayer
5:  Last Of The Buffalo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More About Today's Featured Songs




Mostly what is going to be featured here are individual tracks, but every once and while, whole albums are uploaded to YouTube; such is the case with this very, very important release from 1995.  Marlui Miranda is a well known Brazilian ethnomusicologist, music and tribal preservationists, and musician.  She is one of the most important Native female musicians out there.  This album features traditional songs of a number of Amazonian tribes (some well known, some not) with a varying number of languages (both highly endangered and not), but arranged in a modern style.  The last track, for example, is an extended jazz meditation on the most important ceremony amongst the Nambikwara people of the Mato Grosso:  the Feast of the New Girl.  Given below is full track information and language links.

Miranda in traditional Amazonian face paint.

1.  Tchori Tchori of the Jaboti or Jabutí People of the Rondonia region of the Amazon.

2.  Pame' Dawöro also Jaboti

3.  Tche Nane, again in Jaboti

4.  Naumu is in the very healthy Yanomámi language of Roraima.

5.  Awina/Ijain Je E' of the Wari people, whose language is officially listed as Pakaásnovos on ethnologue, else where it is variously spelled Pakaa Nova.

6.  Araruna in the Parakana language, which is a Tupian tongue found in the Para region of the Amazon.

7.  Mena Barsaa (Baya Barsaa) of the Tukano peoples, language variously spelled Tucano.

8.  Bep of the well known Kayapó people of the Para' region.

9.  Festa da Flauta is actually fully musical, no language.  It comes from the Festival of the Flute found amongst the Nambikwara people in the Guapore' region of the Amazon--it is an important festival, but has not set time of year to occur.  The flutes heard here are the traditional Kukuta flutes from this tribe.

10.  Yny Maj Hyrynh (A Voce' Eu Canto) in the Karitiâna tongue which is also a Tupian language.

11.  Hrigo is sung in the Tupari language.

12.  Wine Merewá in the Suruí language (also Tupian) of Rondônia, not to be confused with the Suruí do Para language in the Para region, another closely related Tupi language.

13.  Mekô Merewâ in also in the same Suruí language.

14.  Ju Parana is sung in the Jurúna tongue on the northern part the Mato Grosso region of the Amazon, again another Tupi language.

15.  Kworo Kango is another Kayapo song.

16.  Mito-Metumji Iarén is in the Suyá language also of the northern part of Mato Grosso, is a language closely related to the Kayapo language.

17.  15 Varicöes de Hai Nai Hai is, as mentioned above, from the Nambikwara people, also spelled Nambikuára.