Buffy Sainte-Marie has always been a good deal more versatile as a musician than most people realize, roaming through folk, blues, country, pop, and even pioneering electronica on her various albums, always using her Cree ancestry as an anchor, and very few singers have dealt with cultural polemics as intelligently as she has. Perhaps because of her restless drive to try new forms, Sainte-Marie's albums are often woefully (but endearingly) erratic and inconsistent, but each contains hidden gems, and while her eerie, vibrato-laden singing style can sound affected at times, her drive to constantly pull her agenda into new musical territories is inspiring. Running for the Drum is her first new album in 17 years, and while it probably won't change anyone's attitudes about her work, it wonderfully spotlights all of the musical themes, forms, and concerns she's pursued in the past four decades. The album opens with a pair of Native American rockers, "No No Keshagesh" and "Cho Cho Fire," that draw on Native American drum rhythms, and both are fiery and invigorating. She revisits one of her finest early songs, the beautiful and haunting "Little Wheel Spin and Spin."
Powerful living music from Native women in the United States and Canada includes performances rarely heard beyond these artists’ communities. Ceremonial and social songs traditionally sung by women, other music now performed by women, and material that combines traditional and contemporary themes and musical forms. Thirty-four selections present a seamless range of solo, choral, and instrumental pieces, forming pulsating and driving music, the heart of Indian Country. "A majestic offering."
Notwithstanding one or two isolated exceptions, it wasn’t until the mid-Sixties that independent female voices really began to be heard within the music industry. The feminist movement naturally coincided with the first signs of genuine musical emancipation. In North America, Joan Baez and Buffy Sainte-Marie emerged through the folk clubs, coffee-houses and college campuses to inspire a generation of wannabe female singers and musicians with their strong, independent mentality and social compassion, while the British scene’s combination of folk song revival and the Beatles-led pop explosion saw record company deals for a new generation of pop-folkies including Marianne Faithfull, Dana Gillespie and Vashti Bunyan.
For many their first encounter with classical music will be through its use in films and this collection makes a fantastic entry point to this rich and diverse world. Helpfully all tracks list the films alongside the music, so there will be no doubt as to where the music is familiar from. Classical music has been used to memorable effect in films many times from Ride of the Valkyries in Apocalypse Now to Barber s Adagio in Platoon and from Also sprach Zarathustra in 2001: A Space Odyssey to Beethoven s Ninth in A Clockwork Orange. Occasionally, as in the case of Mozart s Piano Concerto No.21 used in Elvira Madigan, the film title has provided a lasting nickname for the music. All these favourites are included here.
This 27-track CD of rather mysterious origin is the most comprehensive Billie Davis anthology, but not without its imperfections. In its favor, it does include nine tracks from her 1963-1964 girl group-influenced singles, whereas the most commonly available Davis anthology (Tell Him: The Decca Years has just four of those. In all, it has ten songs not on Tell Him: The Decca Years, but is also missing three songs that are not that release, whose sound quality is better (though not seriously flawed). And the liner notes on Her Best: 1963-1970 are perfunctory, though it does contain a complete 1962-1970 Davis discography. So what most people would pick this up for are the ten songs not on Tell Him, which are useful for Davis fans, but not (with one exception) among her most outstanding recordings. That one exception is the moody, sassy 1964 single "Whatcha' Gonna Do," perhaps her best girl group-styled effort; the Mersey-influenced chirpy warble of its B-side "Everybody Knows" is pretty enjoyable too.
A prolific singer, remembered as one of the greatest pop song stylists alongside Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. Peggy Lee's alluring tone, distinctive delivery, breadth of material, and ability to write many of her own songs made her one of the most captivating artists of the vocal era, from her breakthrough on the Benny Goodman hit "Why Don't You Do Right" to her many solo successes, singles including "Mañana," "Lover" and "Fever" that showed her bewitching vocal power, a balance between sultry swing and impeccable musicianship.