Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Random Review: Native North America Volume One

Posted By on Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge north_america.jpg

Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985 
Light in the Attic Records

Native North America (Vol. 1) is a collection of Aboriginal folk, rock, and country made by the indigenous people of Canada and the Northern United States. The collection of songs touch on familiar artists from the time period like Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Leonard Cohen, but the politically charged lyrics are from artists who have lived through struggle rather than those who made a living singing about it.

The musicians featured on Native North America (Vol. 1) also had limited access to studios and recording time, and because of the political climate of the day, the majority of the albums they were able to create never got the air-time or recognition they deserved. As is normally the case with under-appreciated and undocumented music, many of the albums featured on Native North America (Vol. 1) are nearly impossible to find. 

Touching more on the struggle certain artists on this compilation faced, Light in the Attic says:

"With cooperation and guidance from the artists, producers, family members, and behind the scenes players, Native North America (Vol. 1) sheds real light on the painful struggles and deep traditions of the greater Indigenous community and the significance of its music. The songs speak of joy and spirituality, but also tell of real tragedy and strife, like that of Algonquin/Mohawk artist Willy Mitchell, whose music career was sparked by a bullet to the head from the gun of a trigger-happy police officer, or those of Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher, who was robbed of his family and traditional Inuit culture by the residential school system." 

"Considering the financially motivated destruction of our environment, the conservative political landscape, and corporate bottom-line dominance, it’s bittersweet to report that the revolutionary songs featured on Native North America hold as much meaning today as when they were originally recorded. Dedicated to legendary Métis singer-songwriter and poet Willie Dunn, featured on the anthology but who sadly passed away during its making, Native North America (Vol. 1) is only the beginning. A companion set featuring a crucial selection of folk, rock, and country from the United States’ Lower 48 and Mexico is currently in production."

Now, thanks to this extensive collection from Light In The Attic, these powerful songs of freedom, hope and despair can finally be heard. The collection is available on both Vinyl and CD with information on both packages below. 

The deluxe 3xLP set includes 60 page book with comprehensive liner notes, artist interviews, unseen archival photos, and lyrics (with translations), housed in a “Tip-On” slip case with three “Tip-On” jackets.

The deluxe 2xCD set features a hard-cover 120 page book with comprehensive liner notes, artist interviews, unseen archival photos, and lyrics (with translations).

Copies of Native North America (Vol.1) are available from Light in the Attic. 

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