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  • Music for the Native Americans
  • Music for the Native Americans

Morning Song

Music for the Native Americans

Morning Song

Music for the Native Americans

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Product Description Product Description
  • Robbie Robertson and the Red Road Ensemble- Music for the Native Americans
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Customer Reviews

Robbie Robertson...(sigh)i love everything he's done that i have heard; and i know that even after about 7 albums (that's not including his time with The Band) i haven't come even close to hearing everything he's ever done. his voice...omg it's like velvet, and the arrangements of the songs are awesome. i have so much respect for him that i can't even refer to him as "Robbie". i'm particularly fond of this album. it's amazing and (i know this sounds corny but) it makes my heart sing. it's meaningful, beautiful with a little attitude thrown in there. i found this on xbox music, and have been listening to it for a couple of months. just didn't seem right to listen without paying for it, you know? it's so well done, i just had to own it.5A gift for the spirit and soul.I have bought so many of these. When my spirit is sagging, all I have to do is play this and I am renewed. I have bought so many for gifts for friends that I know will "get it". I will be ordering it again soon, I have two people that I want to send this to. It is a journey into the Native American culture.5A musical tribute to Native American heritage, blending tradition and innovation The Native Americans was a three-part documentary miniseries that premiered on the TBS cable network in 1994. The documentary generally won praise from critics; and part of its success, as with other documentaries from that era (e.g., Ken Burns s The Civil War ), may have had to do with effective choices of soundtrack music. The producers of The Native Americans had the good sense to call upon Robbie Robertson to compose the music for the documentary; and the result is a strong and effective soundtrack that skillfully incorporates traditional Native American melodic and rhythmic structures with modern instrumentation.Robbie Robertson is best known for his work as a member of The Band; but he is also part-Mohawk, and this album of Music For The Native Americans seems to have been a project of considerable personal importance to him. Working with other musicians of Native American heritage (including Rita Coolidge, Douglas Spotted Eagle, Kashtin, the Silvercloud Singers, Ulali, and Jim Wilson), Robertson and his colleagues crafted an album of music that complemented well the visuals and thematic content of The Native Americans. Two decades after the documentary s initial airing, this album, officially credited to Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble, still works well as an album of modern Native American music. Coyote Dance, the album s opening track, sets the tone effectively, with characteristics that match up with many of the songs on the album. A complex, polyrhythmic drum part and a low, menacing synthesizer tone provide the bottom atop which an evocative, multi-layered, harmonic chant uncoils slowly. While much of the music is in a minor key, the melody has an oddly hopeful and inspiring quality as if to symbolize the victory of Native Americans who have survived the travails of the past and continue forward into the future, seemingly against all odds. Mahk Jchi (Heartbeat Drum Song), by the Native American women s a cappella group Ulali, benefits from its rich emotional vocal delivery, with powerful multi-part harmonies. And, as with so much of the Native American and First Nations music that I ve heard at pow-wows across North America, the heartbeat sound of the drums links the listener with the beating heart of Mother Earth. If you re curious about the meaning of Mahk jchi tahm buooi yahmpi gidi/Mahk jchi tahm buooi kan spewa ebi, there is a YouTube video that provides a translation. But don t be surprised if, having gotten the translation, you prefer simply hearing what the members of Ulali convey in the original, through the beauty of the melody and the language alone. Ghost Dance is the song from this album that you would have been most likely to hear on the radio, if you were around back in the mid-1990 s and were listening to an alternative-rock station like WHFS for the Washington-Baltimore area. The title invokes the late-19th-century religious movement through which besieged and beleaguered Native Americans expressed a forlorn hope that the land that had been theirs for tens of thousands of years might somehow be returned to them. As with the instrumental The Vanishing Breed, a deft flute melody soars atop low synthesized dominant tones. In the case of Ghost Dance, this musical leitmotif complements well the song s lyrics about Native American regeneration, as well as its calls for Native American unity. They outlawed the Ghost Dance/But we shall live again, we shall live again. Similar themes are evoked by It Is a Good Day to Die, a song that tells a story of what happens when a U.S. Army general, who has come to admire a renegade chief, tries to persuade the chief to surrender to U.S. authority. In response, the chief turned to his people and said, Dry your eyes/We ve been blessed and we are thankful/Raise your voices to the sky/It is a good day to die. And Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood uses a harmonic chant against a drum backdrop, in a very traditional manner, to speak out against longstanding U.S. wishes to dispossess Native Americans of their land. I claim the right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to return to yours. Cherokee Morning Song features Ulali s a cappella harmonies at the beginning; and then drums come in, linked well with subtle synthesizer chords. It is a pleasant, calming song, suitable for morning. Similarly, Ancestor Song starts with a cappella harmonies that lead into a very traditional-sounding pow-wow song. Skinwalker, for me, is one of the most interesting songs on the album, alluding as it does to Navajo legends of the yee nahgloshii or skinwalker, a spell-crafter who has the ability to transform into an animal at will. Its polyrhythmic, world-music quality may remind listeners of some of Peter Gabriel s work. Again, the song manages to sound at once melancholy and hopeful. And Twisted Hair closes the album well, with spoken-word delivery against a synthesized background, invoking dream songs and power songs in a reminder of the vital role that music has always played in Native American societies throughout the Americas.Overall, Music For The Native Americans is a strong and effective linking of ancient tradition with modern innovation, linking Native Americans proud past with the spirit of resolution with which Native Americans face the challenges of the present and look ahead, with hope and determination, toward the future.4Listen, impress your friends, take it to test speakersIn 1994, Robbie Robertson was commissioned to write the soundtrack for the television program, "The Native Americans." He did not undertake this project alone. Among the Native artists recruited were: Ulali, The Thundercloud Singers and Douglas Spotted Eagle. The result was this album, which is part Native American, New Age, rock, and all masterpiece.Listen to the tracks if you need a little peace, inspiration, or you just want something different and beautiful. Every song has its own message and appeal. As always, I'm going to mention a few favorite songs, but seriously, they are all good: "Coyote Dance", "It's a Good Day to Die", and "Ghost Dance" are the three I have repeated most, but that will probably change.Let your friends hear. I've already sold a copy to my best friend, who was ready to head out to the local record store to find it.Take it with you when you audition new stereo systems. There's a lot here to challenge your ears and your audio equipment.Rebecca Kyle, July 20085I had this on tape.I don't know how I came to buy the tapes but there are a few songs that touched my heart. The tape set sent me on a journey to find out who Chief Joseph was. It was by the few words spoken on the tapes that sent me to investigate a world that I had never known existed. I am paraphrasing greatly here but this is what I heard, "If I thought you were sent by the Creator, from the moment you asked me to put down my weapons, I would have, . Who can own the Mother and who would cut her in pieces and give those pieces to her children. Chief Joseph was not a chief but rose to the occasion to complete the task others before him started. In the end of my journey into knowledge of this man I found myself. All I want to do is be in my home and live there till I die. Even that was denied him. Robbie Robertson's music impacted me and since I listen mostly to the cloud I bought the music again.5Robbie Robertson - Native American SongsI like Robbie Robertson, so I thought I'd try this out. It was an excellent surprise, several Robbie tunes plus some very interesting Native American instrumentals, chants and songs. Have this on cassette, glad to find it on cd.5truth & beautyI recently purchased this CD and it immediately became an all-time favorite. It has a mix of sounds, with some performances by Pura Fe, Kashtin, and Coolidge, but the entire CD is imbued with a peaceful spirit that transports me to another time and place, a place of simplicity, truth, and so much beauty.There are tracks that have fabulous guitar work by Robertson (like "The Vanishing Breed"), but the songs that captivate me the most are the ones in which he does the vocals. His voice delights me and the 2 spoken pieces, "Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood" and "Twisted Hair" are riveting.The arrangements and musicianship are perfection. This is simply one of the most beautiful CDs I've ever heard in any genre, and that covers a lot of territory, as my tastes are varied.The booklet insert, with poetry and imagery that compliment the CD info and lyrics is a joy...not to be missed are the insightful "tidbits" written by Robertson...(who would have known those were crickets ?)...the entire package is a work of art, exquisite and incredibly moving...and makes me grateful to be alive, and able to listen, learn, and enjoy.5Really unique and engaging musicBought this as a gift and then for myself.A nice mix of traditional Native American music (or so it sounds, anyway) with a contemporary update. Cherokee Morning Song is my favorite. My only complaint is that it has a bit of a distinctive 90's sound sometimes that's a little distracting... a bit Kenny G. Of course, this album is from 1994, so it only makes sense. Just keep in mind "contemporary" to traditional folk music may not be contemporary to 2014.4SublimeThis album is incredibly rich and beautiful in every regard. Reviewer Epstein (above) needs to get a clue. Robertson's lyrics show the highest honor and respect to the continuing history of Native Americans, and in "Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood" the words are actually Chief Joseph's -- some of the most haunting and soul-stirring words ever put forth, presented with a heart-felt musical arrangement. As on "Contact From the Underworld of Redboy" Robertson uses his unique vocal style effectively and includes many guest vocalists and musicians to add flavor and depth. The songwriting overall is catchy, concise and definitely stays with you. He also plays some mighty tasty guitar, and his production is flawless. I own over 1,000 CDs and this one stands out as THE most artistically brilliant and thematically respectful of all.5native cadences put to songBeen listening to this album from the first time I saw them play a late night show. Stunning accoustics, resonating vocals and heart moving lyrics. I have yet to find a group of musicians and singers that touch my soul the way this cd has. Every song individual from the last. Every drum beat and vocal cadence rings deep within my Cherokee spirit. I'm thrilled to share this album with family and friends. And having purchased 3 as gifts....I am told of the impact this has on others as well.5
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