Various Artists

American Warriors: Songs for Indian Veterans

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Recordings of Native American music tend to be great listening experiences for those that are able to appreciate the pure beauty in them. This CD is an absolutely marvelous collection that chooses not to concentrate on a particular tribe or people, as is most often the case with this music. The theme instead is the celebration in song of American Indian war veterans, and the conflicts in question run the gamut from battles with General Custer to Saddam Hussein. The research that went into this project is impressive. Recordings are taken from a variety of sources including cylinders from 1910. Because the nature of lyrics in Native American music is so much different than just about any other kind of musical text, many of the songs are able to simply pay tribute to the veterans without getting into a lot of political posturing one way or another. In other words, there should be no fear that some of the more recent material might sound like George Bush doing a guest appearance at a pow-wow. Many of these more recent recordings, culled from the fine series on labels such as Canyon, provide beautifully recorded drum backgrounds that the listener might feel is emanating from within their own chest. The singing is wonderful, particularly the use of female voices from the Northern Plains tribes. The CD is accompanied by detailed notes and illustrations. Kudos to all associated with this fine project. Deadheads can take pride: This is another of the many high quality releases of ethnic music executive produced by Mickey Hart.

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