Tom Mauchahty-Ware & Millard Clark

Round Dance Songs with English Lyrics, Vol. 4

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It's the series that will not quit, chapter four. It is a given that these two characters -- one drumming and singing and the other just singing -- could probably record one of these sets each day for five years and they might all be good. The formula is as simple as powwow music is uplifting. Slight variations in the same shuffle rhythm, which sounds similar to the one used in much of the Kiowa Sioux music, are used as a backdrop for songs that combine a short, simple English lyric with chanting. Adding additional lyrics might be too much of a genre-buster, but it could have been an idea on some of the songs. However, perhaps this is a bit like complaining that a haiku is not an epic poem. Much of the duo's material consists of laments of lost love, and quite moving at that. Mauchahty-Ware and Clark really shine when they are being amusing or candidly real to life. A fine example is "One Eyed Ford," with the lyric "When the dance is over, sweetheart/I will take you home in my one-eyed Ford." This is a dandy image, although it might not help someone pick out a particular car on the rez, as many might have the same handicap. Even better is the anthem for the overweight middle-age set, the hilarious "The Rolls Song," which goes "I love you sweetheart, even though you have those rolls/And your clothes don't fit just right." One of the great additions to the series from this volume is the black-and-white photo of these heroes posing with their drum. Recorded in the late '80s, this is a collection of lyrics that have not dated in the least, especially the message of "Don't Need That B.S. Anymore."

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick