February 26, 2009

Blackfire and the Native legacy

Native American fireball punk

Blackfire returns with their combustible mix of politics and musicThe history of rock 'n' roll, like just about everything in the Americas, is inseparable from the Native American legacy. From the beginning, Johnny Cash, claiming Cherokee heritage, shared Elvis' early rockabilly stage. Gene Clark's Amerindian Midwestern country style lent depth to the original Byrds. Jimi Hendrix credited the storytelling of his Cherokee grandmother as a key to his artistic temperament. James Brown, who claimed in his autobiography to be descended from Geronimo, said the Native American drum inspired his syncopated R&B invention known as "funk." Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield, Rick Danko of The Band, Link Wray … the list goes on.

But few if any rock artists of Amerindian decent have remained as close to the concerns and sounds of the reservation as the metal-punk rockers Blackfire.

Recipients of the 2007 Native American Album of the Year for their work on Silence is a Weapon (Tacoho Records), Blackfire has, since their formation in 1989, garnered respect from their indigenous community as well as the rock 'n' roll world at large. Joey Ramone himself, arguably the co-inventor of punk rock, was attracted to their early work and helped in the production of their first album.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see How Blackfire Got Started.

1 comment:

gaZelbe said...

As long as we're discussing NDN metal, don't forget Resistant Culture: