September 02, 2010

Seminoles influence Florida musician

An article about guitarist, singer, and songwriter Raiford Starke notes his Seminole connections:

Raiford Starke:  He blows the doors off the bar

By Chris Curle, Don FarmerStarke also plays often at the Seminole Casino and has a long, close relationship with a lot of the Seminoles. He met and became musical director for Native American singer/songwriter and Seminole Tribal Chairman, Chief Jim Billie. The Seminole chief’s influence on Starke was seminal.

A song Starke and a friend wrote is emblematic of that. It’s called “Girl From Immokalee,” a tune that sticks in your head after you hear it once and you can’t escape it unless you have an Ambien night. And you really don’t want to.

“‘Girl from Immokalee’ is kind of a composite. When I was working with the Seminole Tribe, playing lunchtime at a little café back in the ‘90s, there was a group of girls there, mostly Mexican-Americans and a girl from the reservation. If you listen to the song, you’ll know she’s half Mexican and half Seminole. The Indians love that song. I’ve sold hundreds of CDs to the Indians because of that one song.”
Comment:  For more on the Seminoles and music, see Native Music Rocks! Tour and Seminole Rock 'n' Roll Park.

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