Recommended: Maurice Davis Band, Southern Scratch, Columbus Day Legacy
Maurice Davis Band, Draw the Curtain
On Draw the Curtain (a 2010 release), Maurice Davis, a bluesy soft rocker and direct descendant of Geronimo, delivers an impressive range of musical tracks that combine rock, folk, and a hint of country. Davis, a vocalist who plays 12-string guitar and piano, may remind you of Jason Mraz (most famous for "The Remedy"); we're pretty sure Davis listens to a bit of Coldplay as well. A two-man rhythm section backs Davis with crisp and clean playing, with Jim Okean on bass and Justin Troster on drums.
All ten tracks are great folky tunes, but there are a few standouts. "Red Dress," about a man who cheats on his wife, strikes a fine balance between soft guitar and an upbeat pop tempo. Davis, who was himself abducted as a child, takes extra care with "Missing Children," which benefits from a tasteful touch of violin. The steel guitar by Josh Watson and backup vocals by Allie Noelle on "Walk on By" are also highlights.
Worth Seeking Out
Southern Scratch, How Sweet the Sound
Waila music, also known as "chicken scratch," is the celebratory dance music of the Tohono O'odham (Desert People), and Southern Scratch bandleader Ron Joaquin is the son of Angelo Joaquin, a legend of the genre. How Sweet the Sound includes polkas, cumbias, boleros and other couples dances performed with saxophones, guitars, bass and accordion. With jubilant playing and Spanish vocals (some performed by guests Maria Montaño and Andrea Alston, on "Los Laureles" and "De Colores") this album is a blast from start to finish.
Check Your Local Listings
Columbus Day Legacy, directed by Bennie Klain
Native American Public Television
Buy the DVD at VisionMaker
Following the ongoing Columbus Day parade controversy in Denver, Colorado, Navajo director Bennie Klain takes a non-judgmental look at the tensions that have arisen between Denver’s Native American and Italian American communities. Though the runtime may be short, the subject matter is compelling and disturbing. Within minutes of the film's start, native activist Russell Means sets the tone by making volatile statements in a conversation with parade organizers on a local radio show. Though Klain does an impressive job of showcasing both sides, it is no easy task to remain objective given some of the imagery: Police and protesters clash openly; activists strew fake bloody babies on the street. What does the parade celebrate: Italian pride or bloody conquest? There's hardly an easy answer. In addition to purchase, viewers can contact their local public television station for program times.