Local Wire


The Partridge Family notwithstanding, sometimes music is a "Family Affair" as shown by Sly & the Family Stone, the brothers Avett, Allman, and Everly, and Chapin Sisters. It hasn't been scientifically proven that genetics can help a band's sound (the Everlys, for example, have a fractious relationship), but, hey, it don't hurt. Take Indigenous — three brothers and a sister from South Dakota's Yankton Indian Reservation, inspired by the timelessly cathartic power of the blues. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Mato Nanji is the locus of their sound with his dusky, resolute baritone and blazingly in-your-face Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired guitar style. 2006's Chasing the Sun and this year's Broken Lands affirm their family dynamic changed considerably. Though the latter's originals were co-written with Nanji's wife, Leah, Indigenous has become less of a kinfolk combo and more of a vehicle for Nanji. Lands, too, marks a change in direction — the blues are the chassis and transmission, but the bodywork is Springsteen and Bottle Rockets. Families go through changes, but the family business still thrives.
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Mark Keresman