David Nighteagle

Torn from the Heart: The Journey

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David Nighteagle's debut album is a lovely, captivating affair, a mix of songs and instrumentals that evoke not only the dreams and lives of the Lakota people, but of all Native Americans. The music comes from Nighteagle, but the lyrics and singing are the property of Courtney Brocks, who also plays guitar. It's a small group, with drums and bass added, but nothing more is needed. There's both honor and righteous anger in the songs, as on "BIA," but there's also a connection between generations as the voice of Nighteagle's grandfather (from a recording) appears on "Honoring Grandfather." The instrumentals are evocative things, where the flute playing shines. It's very atmospheric and melodic, whereas on the songs he adds small, judicious touches. It's a fairly epic venture overall, an attempt to realistically describe the conditions of the Native Americans, while still looking to the future with hope. It stands as one of the most promising Native American albums of 2006, rooted in the tradition, but also looking out from it.

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