A. Paul Ortega / Shenandoah / Joanne Shenandoah

Loving Ways

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This collaboration between A. Paul Ortega and Joanne Shenandoah brings out the best in both artists. The album blends traditional Native American chants with folk, blues, and country music. The result is a diverse body of tunes, some of which speak to the the plight of the American Indian, and others which reach out to the non-native seeker of wisdom and understanding.

"A Prayer for Sundancer" is a song about the Sundance, the most sacred of all Indian rituals. Here, Ortega and Shenandoah are supported by the beating of a lone powwow drum, a droning acoustic guitar, and the sound of crickets at night. "I May Want a Man" is a folk tune sung largely in Oneida. Here, Shenandoah's voice soars over the sparse acoustic guitar and gourd rattle accompaniment. "Used to Be" is more universal; on this country track, Ortega sings of change and recounts the dangers of hard living. Finally, "To Those Who Dream," sounds eerily similar to the early folk music of Judy Collins. However, on this selection, Shenandoah's lyric revolves around the preservation (and perpetuation) of traditional Indian ways. This is a common theme used in Native American music, literature, and art.

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