The white man or woman who plays the blues is often forced to confront a long-standing stereotype: the idea among blues-brained purists that only black artists can truly sing about pain, loss and heartbreak. Of course, music history begs to differ with this notion. Some of the most wrist-slitting blues have come from ivory-skinned artists, while some of the genre's lamest, "whitest" efforts have been produced by people of a much darker color. Yet even if those in the blues-from-black-musicians-only crowd truly believe that white folks have no business wailing on a blues riff, they would be hard-pressed to deny that there is a second demographic that can legitimately claim a cultural right to testify: the American Indian. After all, the government's sanctioned whipping (not to mention genocide) of the American Indian predates slavery and the Civil War -- historical events that gave birth to African-American blues music -- by hundreds of years. In some ways, then, it seems that if any race has a right to moan across America's original chord progressions, it's the nation's original residents.That said, the four Nakota Nation members who make up the band Indigenous (guitarist Mato Nanji, bassist Pte, drummer Wanbdi and percussionist Horse) come to the stage with a whopping dose of blues credibility. But if you come to one of their shows looking for diatribes on the American Indian struggle, you'll be disappointed. The band avoids addressing the historical plight of the American Indian in the same way that the... More >>>
Indigenous: They've got the blues everywhere they go.