MusicFest veterans, Well Hung Heart played at the LA SKINS Musicfest in Hollywood

Miracle Dolls, Well Hung Heart and Nickels & Bones Rock LA SKINS Musicfest in Hollywood

Jason Morgan Edwards

The 5th Annual LA SKINS MusicFest took over the Barnsdall Art Park Gallery Theater in Hollywood in September to give audiences a taste of the rich variety in Native music.  LA SKINS founder Ian Skorodin, Choctaw, initiated the MusicFest in 2010 "to celebrate contemporary Native American music and to shed the stereotypical view of Native music.

“We showcase Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz and there are no admission fees, no parking fees and all after-parties are open to our community,” says Skorodin. “The LA SKINS FEST gives our community a real place to go to without thought of money, fees and paying."

This year's lineup featured indie artists Well Hung Heart, Miracle Dolls and new-comers, Nickels and Bones.

Nickels & Bones, a mix of punk and blues, is the trio of Noah Watts, Jeff Kraft, and Brian Scott.  Entertainment fans may recognize Watts from his television roles in CSI Miami, Sons of Anarchy, the films Skins and Skinwalkers and the lead role of Connor Kenway in the Assassin's Creed III video game.  

LA veteran Kraft, has worked with such powerhouse acts as Anita Baker, Baby Face, Super J, Norwood Fisher and Blowfly.

Miracle Dolls bass player Dani Doll said about the festival, "We were excited because It's rare to see Native American festivals out here. It's hard to find rad festivals like this in our area." Dani (Hidatsa /Kiowa) is a twin sister to her bandmate and sister Dezy.

Well Hung Heart, perhaps best known for their lead singer Greta’s sky blue hair, made their second appearance at the MusicFest. Guitarist, Robin Davey, says " It's really cool to be accepted into the festival.  It's also awesome because none of us are Native."  

Though Davey says he is not Native and grew up in England playing the blues, he insists his connection to the Native music scene is still strong. "I was asked to produce Indigenous' third album.”

Davey says Greta's choice in hair color from show to show is a big attraction for audiences.  "She's settled on blue, for the time being.  We actually now sell Greta wigs at the merch table.  So, you can buy a blue wig just like Greta's hair.  Oddly enough, we sell more to guys than girls.” 

The LA SKINS MusicFest was preceded by the Native American Youth Talent Showcase, an endeavor designed to encourage Native American youth to explore the performing arts and pursue higher education.   

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