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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - American Indian Rock Opera - 2006 Holiday Tour Brulé And AIRO CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars 'The native Americans go Prog!'

In 2010 my passion for the culture of the native American Lakota tribe (aka Sioux) got an extra dimension. I had visited the Pine Ridge reservation (including Wounded Knee), where I witnessed the Third World in the USA: entire families in small shabby houses, most without running water and electricity and the highest ratings with physical - and mental diseases, unemployment, alcohol - and drugs abuse and adolescent suicides in the USA, really heart breaking! But I had also seen hope and pride in the education centre, fuelled by the inhabitants their strong determination to maintain their Lakota culture (almost destroyed by the white men). Back in the nearby Rapid City I stumbled upon that Lakota hope and pride, in the shape of a live DVD entitled American Indian Rock Opera - 2006 Holiday Tour. I couldn't believe my eyes: native American music, blended with acoustic ' and electric guitars and keyboards, wow!

A first session turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster, due to the flood of extreme contrasting emotions the images and the music generated. On one hand I had to think about all those extreme cruelties to the native Americans, done by the white men (even worse than the South-African Apartheid). But on the other hand I was very touched by their mental strength and flexibility to keep on thinking positive, by showing the crowd the wonderful Lakota culture.

On this DVD you can watch a genuine 'pow wow' choreography on stage: on the left and right a huge tipi and in between a musician with traditional drum kits, and in front of the stage the other musicians and the dancers (with their wonderful traditional clothes and feathered headdresses), you will be carried away to the visually breathtaking world of the pow wow, unique!

The way these visuals are blended into the music is very compelling and emotional, especially in Maka Canté (four dancers symbolizing the different directions of the wind), Canon Of Life (duel between a female ballet dancer and a male eagle dancer) and the final track Star People (awesome 'hoop' dancers).

The music sounds accessible and is simply structured, but also a very harmonic progressive blend of folk, New Age and melodic rock: the one moment the music reminds me of Clannad (folky with mellow keyboards), the other moment Kitaro (atmospheric with orchestral keyboards) or Camel (dreamy parts featuring acoustic guitar, flute and piano).

The musical and visual eyecatcher is the very passionate female flute player, what a jawdropping blend of skills and emotion. This ranges from tender to swirling, for me she is the native American version of Dutch prog folk band Flairck their flute play. She shines with moving play in the two Christmas renditions Silent Star Night and O Holy Night, accompanied by a varied keyboards sound, from warm piano runs to bombastic orchestrations.

My highlights.

Shelter From The Storm : From sensitive acoustic guitar runs and passionate flute traverse play in a catchy beat to a bombastic eruption with powerful electric guitar riffs.

Maka Canté : An up-tempo rhythm featuring moving electric guitar play and intense work on the flute, wonderfully blended with the dynamic dancers and their colourful traditional clothes, impressive.

Thunder Across The Plains : A catchy beat with compelling blend of acoustic guitar, flute and piano, this is mighty close to early Eighties mellow side of Camel.

Canon Of Life : First a dreamy atmosphere with piano, acoustic guitar, flute and soaring keyboards. Then a more lush climate delivering electric guitar with howling runs (between Rothery and Latimer), the music in combination with the dancing 'eagle' is magical.

Buffalo Jump : An intro with emotional spoken words about the dangerous bison hunt while chasing a part of the herd to the edge of a cliff, with screen projections about this subject. Then another catchy beat with swirling flute play, powerful native drum beats and moving electric guitar play, the music and images perfectly match.

Star People : A mindblowing final track, starting with spoken words from a grateful band. Then a cheerful and dynamic atmosphere featuring propulsive native drum beats, swirling flute play and howling electric guitar runs, blended with jaw dropping art of the 'hoop' dancing, wet eyes, this is such a compelling musical and emotional experience!

So welcome to the fascinating and emotional world of the native American Lakota tribe with their progressive blend of ethnic music and melodic rock on this unique live DVD, to be discovered for the fans of prog folk.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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