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Hear the Songs Still Relevant Today: Native North America (Vol. 1)

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown January 11th, 2015 Last Updated on: January 11th, 2015

Some of these songs might not be familiar to everyone, but thanks to an ambitious record label and Vancouver-based record archaeologist and curator Kevin “Sipreano” Howes we now get to enjoy these obscure artists!

NNA

Native North America (Vol. 1) features music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, recorded in the turbulent decades between 1966 to 1985. It represents the fusion of shifting global popular culture and a reawakening of Aboriginal spirituality and expression. The majority of this material has been widely unavailable for decades, hindered by lack of distribution or industry support and by limited mass media coverage, until now. You’ll hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. You’ll hear echoes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and more among the songs, but injected with Native consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony.

In this mini-documentary below you'll see interviews with some of the artists featured on the compilation: Willie Dunn, Willy Mitchell and Willie Thrasher

Willy Mitchell, image courtesy of artist

Willy Mitchell, image courtesy of artist

These songs speak of joy and spirituality, but also tell of real tragedy and strife, like that of Algonquin/Mohawk artist Willy Mitchell, whose music career was sparked by a bullet to the head from the gun of a trigger-happy police officer.

Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band, image courtesy of artist

Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band, image courtesy of artist

Willie Thrasher, image courtesy of artist

Willie Thrasher, image courtesy of artist

Sugluk, image courtesy of artist

Sugluk, image courtesy of artist

For a complete tracklisting and samples of each song on the compilation please visit Light in the Attic Records: http://lightintheattic.net/releases/1332-native-north-america-vol-1-aboriginal-folk-rock-and-country-1966-1985.


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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.



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