LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE
FORMAT: 3 x LP
CAT No: LITA103LP
RELEASED BY: Light In The Attic
- BLACK VINYL REPRESS
- 2016 Grammys Best Historical Album Nominee.
- 34 tracks newly re-mastered.
- Deluxe 3xLP set includes a 60-page book housed in a “Tip-On” slipcase with three “Tip-On” jackets.
- 3xLP editions include comprehensive liner notes, artist interviews, unseen archival photos, and lyrics (with translations).
- Vinyl pressed at RTI.
Liner notes by Kevin “Sipreano” Howes
Largely unheard, criminally undocumented, but at their core, utterly revolutionary, the recordings of the diverse North American Aboriginal community will finally take their rightful place in our collective history in the form of Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985. An anthology of music that was once near-extinct and off-the-grid is now available for all to hear, in what is, without a doubt, Light In The Attic’s most ambitious and historically significant project in the label’s 12-year journey.
Native North America (Vol. 1) features music from the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the northern United States, recorded in the turbulent decades between 1966 to 1985. It represents the fusion of shifting global popular culture and a reawakening of Aboriginal spirituality and expression. The majority of this material has been widely unavailable for decades, hindered by lack of distribution or industry support and by limited mass media coverage, until now. You’ll hear Arctic garage rock from the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, melancholy Yup’ik folk from Alaska, and hushed country blues from the Wagmatcook First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia. You’ll hear echoes of Neil Young, Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, and more among the songs, but injected with Native consciousness, storytelling, poetry, history, and ceremony.
The stories behind the music presented on Native North America (Vol. 1) range from standard rock-and-roll dreams to transcendental epiphanies. They have been collected with love and respect by Vancouver-based record archaeologist and curator Kevin “Sipreano” Howes in a 15-year quest to unearth the history that falls between the notes of this unique music. Tirelessly, Howes scoured obscure, remote areas for the original vinyl recordings and the artists who made them, going so far as to send messages in Inuktitut over community radio airwaves in hopes that these lost cultural heroes would resurface.
With cooperation and guidance from the artists, producers, family members, and behind the scenes players, Native North America (Vol. 1) sheds real light on the painful struggles and deep traditions of the greater Indigenous community and the significance of its music. The songs speak of joy and spirituality, but also tell of real tragedy and strife, like that of Algonquin/Mohawk artist Willy Mitchell, whose music career was sparked by a bullet to the head from the gun of a trigger-happy police officer, or those of Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher, who was robbed of his family and traditional Inuit culture by the residential school system.
Considering the financially motivated destruction of our environment, the conservative political landscape, and corporate bottom-line dominance, it’s bittersweet to report that the revolutionary songs featured on Native North America hold as much meaning today as when they were originally recorded. Dedicated to legendary Mi’kmaq singer-songwriter and poet Willie Dunn, featured on the anthology but who sadly passed away during its making, Native North America (Vol. 1) is only the beginning. A companion set featuring a crucial selection of folk, rock, and country from the United States’ Lower 48 and Mexico is currently in production and begrudgingly enjoying that flurry of latter-day interest in his work. This landmark compilation promises to create many more converts.
Willie Dunn – I Pity the Country, John Angaiak – I'll Rock You to the Rhythm of the Ocean, Sugluk – Fall Away, Sikumiut – Sikumiut, Willie Thrasher – Spirit Child, Willy Mitchell – Call of the Moose, Lloyd Cheechoo – James Bay, Alexis Utatnaq – Maqaivvigivalauqtavut, Brian Davey – Dreams of Ways, Morley Loon – N'Doheeno, Peter Frank – Little Feather, Ernest Monias – Tormented Soul, Eric Landry – Out of the Blue, David Campbell – Sky-Man and the Moon, Willie Dunn – Son of the Sun, Shingoose (poetry by Duke Redbird) – Silver River, Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band – Kill'n Your Mind, Philippe McKenzie – Mistashipu, Willie Thrasher – Old Man Carver, Lloyd Cheechoo – Winds of Change, The Chieftones (Canada’s All Indian Band) – I Shouldn't Have Did What I Done, Sugluk – I Didn't Know, Lawrence Martin – I Got My Music, Gordon Dick – Siwash Rock, Willy Mitchell and Desert River Band – Birchbark Letter, William Tagoona – Anaanaga, Leland Bell – Messenger, Saddle Lake Drifting Cowboys – Modern Rock, Willie Thrasher – We Got to Take You Higher, Sikumiut – Utirumavunga, Sugluk – Ajuinnarasuarsunga, John Angaiak – Hey, Hey, Hey, Brother, Groupe Folklorique Montagnais – Tshekuan Mak Tshetutamak, Willie Dunn (featuring Jerry Saddleback) – Peruvian Dream (Part 2)