True North Records
Potently Raw and Emotional Native Americana.
If my maths is right MEDICINE SONGS is Buffy’s 17th album; and baring in mind the state of the world in 2018 any new music from the woman who refused to go on Sesame Street unless they let her tell the world about the history of Native Americans has to be worth investigating hasn’t it? Well; it has!
The album opens with the feisty You Got To Run (Spirit of the Wind) a full on commercial ‘wall of sound’ based around a Native American chant and backbeat; which when pealed away reveals a very angry song indeed. Boy; would I like to hear this on the radio! Do you think it’s worth holding my breath?
It’s no real surprise to find that this ‘golden ager’ and renowned Feminist and activist is righteously angry at what she sees around her; and as songwriter of some renown manages to get her feelings across in such a way on My Country Of Thy People You’re Dying and The War Racket that will not just educate you but make you want to march down a street too.
After all these years it’s more than a surprise to tell you that Ms Sainte-Marie’s voice is absolutely wonderful and has hardly changed since I first heard her in or about 72 or 73.
Not everything here is brand new; with the inclusion of new versions of the magnificent Soldier Blue, Universal Soldier, Starwalker and of course Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee which a new generation of North American schoolchildren should be forced to listen to on headphones every morning.
One of the older songs that I wasn’t aware manages to Buffy’s righteous anger gets to spill over again on an almost Hip-Hop poetic adaptation of The Priests of the Golden Bull, which is so powerful it will spin you around 359 degrees.
Baring in mind Buffy’s ‘age’…….the lady can still ROCK; as is proven on my favourite track here Carry It On. It’s definitely another ‘protest song’ but it’s also a real fists in the air and scream-along the chorus rocker that puts women (and men) a quarter of her age to shame.
I’ve been playing this album on and off for two months now, and I’m stumped as to where to place it on my shelf…..Folk? Roots? Rock? Any of which would work; but I’m going for Americana or more pertinently NATIVE AMERICANA!
God Bless Buffy Sainte-Marie; the world still needs her and her fiery passion.
PS. The digital version of this record includes a further six songs that appear to be in a similar ilk; and should be well worth investigating.
Released 26th January 2017