Courtesy: Dominic Verhulst
The Cody Blackbird Band has released their debut album: "All In."

All In!: The Cody Blackbird Band Drops First Album

Benjamin Brewer

With an accoustic mix of contemporary Native American flute and blues, The Cody Blackbird Band are debuting their first full-length album All In, online today Saturday, June 11th, on their own label REDI records.

The Cody Blackbird Band's Debut Album: "All In."

With his self-described “Alter-Native” fusion style, band founder, lead vocalist and flute-player, Cody Blackbird (Eastern Band Cherokee, Lakota) received a Native American Music Award for flutist of the year in 2010 and for his collaboration with Frank Waln on the single Hear My Cry in 2012. As a solo artist, Blackbird’s music has been featured on major television networks and news outlets including NBC, WGN, MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times and PBS, for the We Are a Horse Nation documentary.

In 2013, he created The Cody Blackbird Band. Last month, the group met for the first time in a studio setting and began recording. Members of his band include bassist Xavier Torres (Taíno), guitarist Lewis Schwenk, and Blackbird’s brother, flutist Caleb Blackbird.

After years of touring, Blackbird says he became frustrated with the stigma that says a Native flute “shouldn’t” be incorporated into modern music. “I couldn’t get booked in some places because of it, but I think this album will bring down those barriers.”

As part of their contemporary spin, All In features covers from artists Kris Kristofferson (Jesus Was a Capricorn, 1972) and Ritchie Valens (Ritchie, 1959). “I’ve always loved Willie Nelson and Kris, and a lot of their music has elements that we drew from, and the work of Ritchie Valens certainly added a different tone that went into producing All In, “ Blackbird says.

The mainstream appeal of the band is evident, having performed hundreds of shows across the nation and abroad with the likes of Xavier Rudd (To Let, 2002) and Big Mountain (Unity, 1994). Mike Posner (I Took a Pill in Ibiza, 2015), a pop icon in the music business, has taken notice of their unique sound, stating on Facebook, “That’s some serious flute.”

With their growing fan base, The Cody Blackbird Band has used its shows as an opportunity to bring indigenous issues out into the open, having recently voiced their support of the Rosebud Sioux tribe in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, and has also actively advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana.

With the album now available for purchase on their website, and soon to be released on digital platforms internationally this weekend, the band will be on their “All In” North American tour throughout the summer (for more tour details, see below), and are working with the John Trudell Archives to produce a second, electric, album.

“I was tired of being left behind,” says Blackbird. “So now I am ‘All In,’ so to speak.”



06/29 | World Music Wednesday - Maurer Hall | Chicago, IL (FREE)

07/10 | Benefit for the Black Hills Unity Concert | Boulder, CO (FREE)

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page