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Buffy Sainte-Marie is touring constantly, and coming off her critically acclaimed, award-winning albums Medicine Songs and Power in the Blood, nobody could ever accuse the Academy Award-winning songwriter of taking it easy. Since her groundbreaking debut, 1964’s It’s My Way!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been a trailblazer and a tireless advocate, an innovative artist, and a disruptor of the status quo.
Sainte-Marie has spent her whole life creating, and her artistry, humanitarian efforts, and Indigenous leadership have made her a unique force in the music industry. In 1969, she made one of the world’s first electronic vocal albums; in 1982 she became the only Indigenous person to win an Oscar; she spent five years on Sesame Street where she became the first woman to breastfeed on national television. She’s been blacklisted and silenced. She’s written pop standards sung and recorded by the likes of Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Donovan, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. She penned “Universal Soldier,” the definitive anti-war anthem of the 20th century. She is an icon who keeps one foot firmly planted on either side of the North American border, in the unsurrendered territories that comprise Canada and the USA.
On her latest studio recording, the JUNO Award-winning Medicine Songs, Sainte-Marie doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or shy away from hard realities. At the same time, she is also never overwhelming or oppressive on this collection of nineteen songs that shine light on urgent subject matter including environmental destruction, alternative conflict resolution, Indigenous realities, greed, and racketeering.
Rather than making us feel smaller, sadder or more cynical, Buffy Sainte-Marie makes us feel stronger and more capable of seeing the world around us clearly. Part rhythmic healing, part trumpeting wakeup call, Medicine Songs is the soundtrack for the resistance.Whitehorse
Since their debut in 2011,Toronto’s Whitehorse has evolved from magnetic folk duo to full-blown rock band. In truth, Whitehorse is never fully either one or the other, but an ever-evolving creative partnership between Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. As five consecutive JUNO nominations in four categories attest, whether it be a holiday album or reworked blues covers or pop noir album, Whitehorse rises to every challenge with guitar wizardry and magnetic harmonies.WithThe Northern South Vol. 2, Whitehorse returned to their JUNO Blues Album of the Year nominated project, which reimagines the early days of electric blues. For the second instalment, The Northern South Vol. 2deals 1950s blues bops, sexed-up cuts and hellfire gospels to meld the grooves and melodies of the originalselections with the band’s steamy, swampy, squalling approach.Both snapshot and slingshot, with an eye on the end-of-days and Whitehorse’s ear for blues grooves,The Northern South Vol. 2expanded the universe of the Northern South with foreplay, foreboding, fever and Fenders --plenty of them --on cuts from Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo and more
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