Recommended: Louie Gonnie, Jonny Lipford and Blackfire
Louie Gonnie, Breathe Deep the Dusk Fall: Songs of the Native American Church
With Breathe Deep the Dusk Fall, Louie Gonnie (Zuni) turns in an exceptional set of Native American church songs, which are generally accompanied with a peyote water drum and gourd rattle to facilitate prayer, relaxation or a meditative state. With supporting vocalist and drummer Branson Gorman (Dine’ Bítahnii), Gonnie embarks on a thematic journey through the night; the first track, "Ending of Another Day" sets the mood with strong druming, hypnotic rattle, deep breaths and ghost-like chants. Gonnie sings additional songs to honor the dusk, the stars the moon and the constellation Orion. He ends the album recognizing a new day, with the final track, "Transcendence and the Dawn." In the liner notes, Gonnie describes “the evening sky, a palette so vivid and pristine [that] anchors your soul to Mother Earth”—if we can assume it's his mission to capture these ideas in music, he has succeeded.
An Independent gem:
Jonny Lipford, A Breeze at 72 Degrees: Hybrid Instrumental Native American Flute Music
A self-proclaimed “hard-working farm boy,” Lipford shows amazing prowess with the Native American Flute. On 72 Degrees, he's accompanied by a range of other instruments to create a gentle yet upbeat tempo throughout; the result is an impressive balance of the traditional and the contemporary. It's no wonder Lipford’s performance schedule is full. Album available at JonnyLipford.com.
In case you missed it:
Blackfire, [Silence] is a Weapon
The late Joey Ramone, one of the godfathers of punk, certified Blackfire as “fireball punk rock”; if you didn't get this 2008 Nammy winner there's no time like the present. The beauty of [Silence] is a Weapon is that it is a two-album set: One disc is electrically charged punk rock in the Ramones and Rancid mode, with lyrics that scream for Indian justice; the other disc consists of traditional Dine’ native songs. Recorded in Durango, Colorado and produced Ed Stasium (who produced the Talking Heads, the Smithereens and, yes, the Ramones). [Silence] is a Weapon is available at at CDBaby.