Reviewer: Kerry Dexter
dance songs have became one of the most popular genres within
the American Indian and Aboriginal Canadian communities in North
America. Round Dances were originally healing dances of the the Plains
Cree people, but they quickly evolved into a social dance that has
rapidly gained popularity at intertribal social events.
Round dances can be performed at pow-wows but
can also be played
separately. Some of the Canadian First Nations, play round dance songs
at all night winter social gatherings.
The round dance is normally a triple beat song performed by either an
individual singer on a hand drum or by groups of singers each playing a
hand drum. The Cree of Canada add a finger nail rub to the back of the
drum between drum beats to create a syncopated rasping sound that helps
accent the dance rhythms. The round dance themes include romance,
native pride and the bittersweet.
These are some of the most recent releases in the area of round dance
Cree – Temptations
(Canyon Records CR-6443). The prolific
multi-award winning pow-wow drum group Northern Cree of the Saddle Lake
Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan and Alberta (Canada) is considered
one of the finest acts in the North American pow-wow circuit. Their
round dance songs album Temptations includes songs about first love,
temptation and infatuation.
– As the Rez Turns
(Canyon Records CR-6471). Ojibwe band
Pipestone is formed primarily by musicians from the Lac Courte Oreilles
Ojibwe (Chippewa) tribe in Wisconsin. Pipestone sings about love and
life on the reservation with plenty of good humor.
and Denny – Love
Hurts, Dude (Canyon Records CR-6480). Jeremy
“Worm” Dearly (Lakota/Anishinabe) and Marcus Denny (Menominee) are two
young singers who have penned many of the classic songs for the
legendary Midnite Express drum group based in Minnesota. On Love Hurts,
Dude they sing about modern romance with hilarious lyrics.
& Day – Love,
Lies & Lullabies (Canyon Records
CR-6455). Ojibwe musicians Mike Sullivan, Sr. and Opie Day-Bedeau
perform joyful and sentimental Round Dance songs in Ojibwe and English
to the beat of the hand drum.
Silas, Jr. – Unconditional
(Canyon Records CR-6466). Wayne Silas
Jr. (Menominee/Oneida) is a renowned singer and the leader of Tha
Tribe, one of the most popular bands in the pow-wow circuit.
Unconditional is his debut solo Round Dance album. The album features
well known performers, including Joe Syrette, Edmond Tate Nevaquaya,
Jeremy “Worm” Dearly, Nitanis “Kit” Landry and Arianne Sheka. Wayne
Silas describes bittersweet romantic situations and nostalgia with
Ahhaitty – No
More Lies (Canyon Records CR-6463). Vocalist and
composer Glen Ahhaitty from the Kiowa, Comanche and Cherokee tribes of
Oklahoma played with the Bad Medicine and Rose Hill drum groups. He
currently has his own group called the Oklahoma Outlaws. His round
dance songs are dedicated to romance, reflection and redemption.n