Tradition Continues: Harmonized Peyote Songs

Gerald Primeaux

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Tradition Continues: Harmonized Peyote Songs Review

by Chris Nickson

The peyote ceremony has long been a ritual among Native Americans, from Mexico and the Southwest up to the North. It's sacred and honored among all the peoples for the wisdom peyote brings. The songs of the ceremony use a water drum and gourds, along with prayer songs traditionally sung in fours during the event -- at the beginning, again at midnight, dawn, and when it finishes. Gerald Primeaux takes this tradition and makes it his own with original material that sounds as if it's existed for centuries. By their very nature, the songs are meditative, accompanied by the water drum as a grounding for the chants. Perhaps surprisingly, there are also English prayers, but whatever the language, the music resonates deeply. It's simple, but that simplicity hides a very deep complexity and beauty. This may not be for everyone, but for lovers of Native American music this collection stands as a must-have.

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