February 25, 2011

Native Music for the Masses

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If there are some visitors that are missing the Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture exhibition that has left the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. – relief has come in the form of the original playlist of music that was featured on the audio tour, courtesy of Rhapsody.com.

For those of you who are not familiar, Up Where We Belong opened in July 2010 in the Sealaska Gallery on the second level which featured 13 artists that influenced music over the course of a century covering various genres of music. The exhibition also featured an audio tour with excerpts from the curators as well as songs from the featured artists.

So all you have to do now is search your local search engine: “rhapsody nmai” or “music nmai.” Better yet, here is the link: http://www.rhapsody.com/member/nmai

I had so much fun re-creating the playlist (that has been so well received) so much that I have the privilege, no the pleasure of creating a few more based on the artists and themes. I have so many ideas, so who knows where this will go. So keep coming back and check up on what’s new.

1. Mildred Bailey - Rocking Chair, written by Hoagy Carmichael.
2. Oscar Pettiford – Monti Cello, by Oscar Pettiford.
3. Russell “Big Chief” Moore - Someday, by Louis Armstrong, with Russell Moore, trombone.
4. Johnny Cash - The Ballad of Ira Hayes, written by Peter La Farge.
5. Peter La Farge - Drums, written and performed by Peter La Farge.
6. Link Wray - Rumble, by Link Wray and His Ray-Men. 1958.
7. Rita Coolidge - Higher and Higher, 1972.
8. Walela - Cherokee Morning Song, Written and performed by Walela, (Rita Coolidge, Priscilla Coolidge, and Laura Satterfield.
9. The Band - The Weight, written by Robbie Robertson, performed by The Band, 1968.
10. Robbie Robertson - Ghost Dance, written and performed by Robbie Robertson.
11. Redbone - Wovoka, written and performed by Redbone. 1973.
12. Redbone - Come and Get Your Love, written by Pat and Lolly Vegas. 1974.
13. Jesse Ed Davis - Doctor, My Eyes, by Jackson Browne, with Jesse Ed Davis, lead guitar. 1972.
14. Taj Mahal (featuring Jesse Ed Davis, lead and slide guitar) - Statesboro Blues. 1968.
15. Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier.
16. Buffy Sainte-Marie - No No Keshagesh.
17. Randy Castillo - No More Tears, performed by Ozzy Osborne, with Randy Castillo, drums. 1991.
18. Randy Castillo - Tattooed Dancer, Ozzy Osborne, with Randy Castillo, drums. 1989.
19. Stevie Salas - I Once Was There, by Stevie Salas. 1995.
20. Stevie Salas - Tell Your Story Walkin’ by Stevie Salas. 1995.
21. Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child (slight return). 1968.
22. Jimi Hendrix - Little Wing.1967.

Comments (12)

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Thanks for the track list.

Nice mix of familiar and lesser-known artists & songs in there... Gives me some research to do on some of the artists in the list, always nice to get new ideas for artists and songs!

Stan
Site Owner: Jazz Guitar and Vocals

I love Jimi Hendrix's Voodoochild.Now THAT's a classic.

Yes, I agree. I've heard of most of these artists and the tracks you specify. However, I'd not heard of Russell “Big Chief” Moore, Walela or Stevie Salas before. So, like Stan, you've prompted me to do some enjoyable homework getting to know the work of new (to me) artists.

John Murphey

When you love something you have a lot of fun doing it. Quite an interesting mix of musical artist list there.Surprised for me I could only recognise a few there, thumbs up to you.

That's a heck of a list. And definitely some I have not heard of. I always love some new recommendations for music!

Cool list. Some of these songs are new to me but I am going to give them a listen. Thanks

That's a heck of a list. And definitely some I have not heard of. I always love some new recommendations for music!

Great selection of music. I love Jimmy Hendix and the rest is reall cool too. Love the new music.

I am a guitarist myself and Johnny Cash is an inspiration. I have songs of my own on my website.

Great list. Some of them I've never heard of.
Thanks for the list, you should definitely post more list like this!

These songs are great.I am going to listen to all of them for sure .If any one wants to sing in a more professional manner then i recommend visiting How to become a famous singer.It has helped me a lot.
Thanks

Thanks for the audio track list!

August 19, 2009

Blues Concert and Discussion, Aug. 22 in Washington, DC

The 2009 Indian Summer Showcase concert series will conclude this Saturday with a blues concert and discussion presented in collaboration with the National Museum of African American Heritage and Culture. The concert will showcase Native and African-American blues musicians and celebrate shared musical traditions. http://www.nmai.si.edu/iss/2009/schedule.html

Here’s a preview of blues history from several participants including Ron Welburn and Elaine Bomberry, who will be leading the blues discussion, and Justin Robinson, who will be performing with the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

 

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Indians and Early Blues by Ron Welburn


What poet and folklorist Sylvester Brito (Comanche & Tarascan) once described as a “blues aesthetic” for Native American storytelling resonates in the participation of Native performers in blues, jazz, and popular music. This Native blues aesthetic embodies feelings about the survival of Native identity and communities as well as what ’49 songs express about loved ones, snagging, and being away from homelands. The Native heritage of so many blues, jazz, and popular music musicians and singers is practically unknown; the music world and audiences have assumed them to be African American or European American.


The enigmatic “king of the Delta blues,” Charley Patton, was Choctaw; his contemporary, Leon “Scrapper” Blackwell, Eastern Cherokee. From earliest recording days down to the 1970s when more Indians began to assert their cultural identities, an impressive array of Native and Native heritage performers have left their marks on American music, with subtle elemental and structural characteristics of traditional Southeastern and other Native music contributing to blues and jazz styles. In my presentation on blues and Indians, I will offer a perspective that will stimulate our thinking about Native American contributions to African American/American music culture.

 

BUFFY EB


A Native Influence on the Blues  by Elaine Bomberry


The very little revealed history of the possibility of a Native musical influence on the formation of the early blues is a story you don’t hear much about anywhere.  In most history books written on the blues, there is no mention of the cultural exchange and inter-mix that happened between runaway African slaves and Native Americans, and how this possibly could have led the formation of the early blues.

This Saturday’s discussion will explore the possibilities about a Native contribution to the development of the early blues, and how history intersected Native Americans and runaway slaves in the south.  How do we not know that the sharing of these cultures gave birth to the blues?  The significant Native contribution to the development of the blues is examined as well.  Is there room for this theory in music history today?  

We explore the hidden history, and musical truth of Native peoples and the origins of the blues.  Is there a Native musical influence on the formation of the blues…is there a connection through the Stomp Dance, call and response singing? Is there a valid theory here?  These questions will be addressed in my presentation during “The Blues:  Branches, Roots and Beyond” discussion.

The voices that have emerged who also know that there is a definite Native influence on the blues include Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree, Saskatchewan), who has spoken about the Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans, and that they are Choctaw and African-American, and are not appropriating Native culture.  Also, Pura Fe (Tuscarora), who’s a solo blues guitarist and singer, has spoken about how the Tuscarora Nation has intermixed with African Americans, and how this could have given birth to the blues.  Segments of “The Aboriginal Music Experience...A Radio Documentary Series” on REZ BLUEZ, will be played during the discussion as well.  [Link to:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20798640408]

 

Small_Carolina Chocolate Drops 2


Old Time Music’s Native Roots by Justin Robinson of the Carolina Chocolate Drops

www.carolinachocolatedrops.com


The old time music we play mostly comes from North Carolina's Piedmont region which historically had many interactions with a variety of Native peoples, both in the European and African American communities.  One of our mentors, Joe Thompson, was born and raised in Mebane, NC which is also tribal home of the Occaneechi-Saponi Nation. The area of Orange and Alamance Counties were rich in black and Indian practitioners of this music. One such banjo player, Dink Roberts [link to: http://www.folkways.si.edu/albumdetails.aspx?itemID=2411], who was listed as black or mulatto, was probably, in fact, an Occaneechi banjo player, and it seems that his style was influenced greatly by Indian, black, and European styles.


Many of the square dances held in the black and white communities, both in the past and today, have Native underpinnings.  When traveling in a square, the dancers almost always go counterclockwise, which, according to sources, is a Native tradition since the "heart side/mother side" was always to be closest to the center of the ring.  Appalachian step dancing, buck dancing, or flat foot dancing are all varieties of an amalgam of Native, European, and African derived steps, which melded together so early and so completely that at this point it is nearly impossible to distinguish  what comes from whom.  Many of the early blues, R&B, and soul greats boast of blended heritage, as do we, the members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  Our musical expressions reflect our New World identities.

Comments (28)

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Hello,

As a member of NMAI, I am very pleased to see that more and more information is being presented about Native/African American Culture through the museum with various projects and topics. It is long overdue. Much light needs to be brought to our unique culture and its origins.

I also would like to make a correction that in the southeastearn States such VA,SC,NC as well as several others the history of Native/African American Descendants is that both people were held in bondage on plantations and sold into slavery together very early on or ran away into the low country, swamps etc to escape the brutality of the European onslaught. Some books that I would recommend is:

Villany Often Goes Unpunished: Indian Records from the North Carolina General Assembly Session, 1675-1789 (Paperback)

In Full Force and Virtue: North Carolina Emancipation Records, 1713-1860 (Paperback)
by William L. Byrd
William L. Byrd (Author)

(This book has records and documents of enslaved Native American women and chidren who were enslaved and emancipated in the carolinas)

The enslavement of the American Indian in colonial times By Barbara J. Olexer

The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South ... By Alan Gallay

There are many other articles, Documents that I would hope to contribute in the future. So blues music has very deep and historical roots in the Native/African Community. Deeper than we realize. Some of these Native Cultures had customs and languages were totally lost or forgotten and may have channeled it's way through the blues music and other day to day customs that we are totally unaware of.

Thank you.

Shoshone
Pee Dee/Chowanoc Descendant

Hello,

As a member of NMAI, I am very pleased to see that more and more information is being presented about Native/African American Culture through the museum with various projects and topics. It is long overdue. Much light needs to be brought to our unique culture and its origins.

I also would like to make a correction that in the southeastearn States such VA,SC,NC as well as several others the history of Native/African American Descendants is that both people were held in bondage on plantations and sold into slavery together very early on or ran away into the low country, swamps etc to escape the brutality of the European onslaught. Some books that I would recommend is:

Villany Often Goes Unpunished: Indian Records from the North Carolina General Assembly Session, 1675-1789 (Paperback)

In Full Force and Virtue: North Carolina Emancipation Records, 1713-1860 (Paperback)
by William L. Byrd
William L. Byrd (Author)

(This book has records and documents of enslaved Native American women and chidren who were enslaved and emancipated in the carolinas)

The enslavement of the American Indian in colonial times By Barbara J. Olexer

The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South ... By Alan Gallay

There are many other articles, Documents that I would hope to contribute in the future. So blues music has very deep and historical roots in the Native/African Community. Deeper than we realize. Some of these Native Cultures had customs and languages were totally lost or forgotten and may have channeled it's way through the blues music and other day to day customs that we are totally unaware of.

Thank you.

Shoshone
Pee Dee/Chowanoc Descendant

hi. interesting topic. thanks for sharing

I'm from NC too but lets not forget about the African Americans that remain slaves in the North even after Lincoln's emancipation proclamation. Its funny how little people really know about our history. Wilmington SEO Company
By the way, I love the Chocolate Drops! I've seen them in at the Flat Rock Music Festival and I've seen them in Wilmington at the soap box. I thought they would be on MTV by now but I guess the rest of the nation hasn't really caught on to our NC funky roots music.

I like your article, let my share your happiness.
toronto seo

This is very informative. I had no idea that the Blues had Native American roots as well as African-American roots. You're right when you say that there is hardly any mention of this fact anywhere.

Rez Blues looks interesting too, thanks for that. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20798640408

I didn't know that Charlie Patton was Choctaw either. Fascinating!

http://www.stikkyfingers.co.uk

Nice article, thanks.


This is very informative. I had no idea that the Blues had Native American roots as well as African-American roots. You're right when you say that there is hardly any mention of this fact anywhere.

Rez Blues looks interesting too, thanks for that.

I didn't know that Charlie Patton was Choctaw either. Fascinating!

I am really glad that they are recognizing Indian and African American culture in such a grand way. Great job guys!

I love The Blues!I am from the UK, and would love to be able to listen to real authentic blues music in the deep south one day. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom, I really loved reading this post.

Fantastic post. I didn't know that Charlie Patton was Choctaw either.

I dont know what to say. This blog is fantastic.
Thats not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this.
You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it.
Your blog is my stepping stone, my friend. Thanks for the heads up on this subject.

Love it! Excellent article. Blues is in my soul and I can feel it through your words.

I have started taking dancing lessons and have been advised by my instructor that a lot of dances have actually been inspired by African American culture. This blog was very informative and I love blues music.

I'm a big fan of Native's folk and culture. People should never forget their roots.

Tony - Pozycjonowanie stron

I love The Blues!I am from the UK, and would love to be able to listen to real authentic blues music in the deep south one day. I am in the same boat.....maybe one day.....

This is a great article. I'm going to send this article to my buddies who love the different styles of blues and see if TrueFire, who teaches a lot of blues, will post it or reference it on their blog.

This is a fantastic article on blues and the culture. I'd love to read more articles like this one. This would be good for kids in music classes to read or hear about from their teachers. And in regards to what Sam said above, I've used Truefire before. That is where i learned to play blues.

I have started taking dancing lessons and have been advised by my instructor that a lot of dances have actually been inspired by African American culture. This blog was very informative and I love blues music.

Great Blog post. Thanks for sharing. I have bookmarked this post.

i watched this guy Ron Welburn last summer in maryland.. awesome show..

I like the look of your blog. Nice and clean. Also i enjoy reading
your content i find really useful content.

This information is great & been looking for quality blogs for my dancing site.
It will be the best interest to credit you & share this information to many more who interested to know music & dance.

Pls do contact me if I can post in my site?

Angelina

I have found this article while searching Native American Blues, since I am a fan of blues' roots. An enjoyable, informative read and a nice discover!

Sandro

Angelina,

Thanks for asking. We'd love to see people repost written content from the NMAI blog. The rights to illustrations, on the other hand, vary. Some are copyrighted, or used only with permission. Please check the credit that is included with each post's captions and respect the rights holder's wishes before using an image.

Best regards.

I love The Blues!I am from the UK, and would love to be able to listen to real authentic blues music in the deep south one day. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom, I really loved reading this post.

This is very informative. I had no idea that the Blues had Native American roots as well as African-American roots. You're right when you say that there is hardly any mention of this fact anywhere.

This site is exactly what I've been looking for. I'm always going to events and love people living out their dreams.