Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Native Roots, Native American Reggae

Okay, I'm gonna be honest here. A virus hit my computer yesterday and after fighting it off I couldn't connect to the internet. My connection was there and it was good however I couldn't access any webpages. I got it fixed eventually but now it's late at night, I'm tired and I have to cut the grass in the morning (if it doesn't rain again), take care of my son AND go to work in the afternoon so this is gonna be short and sweet. Native Roots, I first heard of this Native American reggae band around 1999 or so and have had their cd "Place I Call Home" in my collection ever since. To some people the idea of Native Americans playing reggae seems odd or out of place but if you watch the last video you'll get an explanation of sorts about the connection which is larger than you may ever know.

I lifted this straight from their website and it says it much better than I ever could: Native Roots was formed in 1997 by musician John L. Williams (Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux) and lyricist/vocalist Emmett "Shkeme" Garcia (Santa Ana Pueblo) to reach out with a message of pride, unity, and respect among all nations, through the universal language of music. This dynamic and award winning combination has produced three CD's that have propelled Native Roots into the Native American and Reggae music scene as the premier Native American Reggae band whose music is 100% Native American written, produced, and performed.

Native Roots contributes their solid reggae foundation to the influence it has had on Native American communities. Native Roots is a natural extension of growing up, living and loving reggae music. John Williams' extensive musical background in working with different styles of music has allowed him to incorporate various elements into the music without compromising the essential reggae feel. In addition, "Shkeme's" singing style reflects not only a variety of reggae styles, but also reflects years of experience singing both traditional pueblo and pow wow music. The blending Native influences such as traditional drums, rattles, chants, language and flute, with a variety of reggae styles including ragamuffin, one drop, rockers, and dancehall, makes Native Roots music unique. Lyrical themes include the importance of traditional languages and culture, spirituality, respect for our elders, the sacredness of our youth, and love.

This last video is from a TV station where they performed live on a morning show.

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