2006 NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS NOMINEE for DEBUT ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
"The vocals are powerful, the drumming solid and the melodies, ear-catching. Make no mistake, these ladies can sing!" Whispering Wind Magazine September 2006, Vol 36 No.2
FEATHER RIVER SINGERS is a Women’s Drum with exciting energy, a soothing beat and original style in Cherokee and English. Dedicated to preserving their native language through songs, all original materials by group members marks this debut CD “Daughters of the Earth” by Feather River Singers as breaking into new territory in Native music. Prentice Robinson, Cherokee linguist from Tulsa, Oklahoma acted as language consultant for this project. Inspired by The Mankillers, Walela and Ulali, these women bring melody and a Cherokee touch to their pow wow songs.
The album title, “Daughters of the Earth”, reflects the theme of their CD. The sound studio was in a natural outdoor setting; microphones were placed in trees so bird sounds became part of the recording. Larry Badger and Curt Burrows of Joyful Sound recorded the album on location. Badger later mixed and mastered the final CD in Joyful Sound’s Yuba City studio. The album insert was designed by the singers, and former member LE Honyecutt is credited with the original artwork. The insert depicts the Great Smokey Mountains of the Cherokee homeland, the sacred cedar tree, with the seven birds representing the seven Cherokee clans.
The CD begins with "Mother Earth," a special song honoring the Creator. Feather River Singers have sung this song after the prayer during Grand Entry at pow wows and at other special events.
"Beautiful World," a Women's Traditional, follows expressing the thought "We thank the Creator for a beautiful world; life is good," in Cherokee.
The "Feather River Flag Song," also in Cherokee, has been sung during Grand Entry of pow wows where the group has performed. The song, loosely translated, means: We honor the flag carried by the warrior. We see the flag. First Nations forever; Red, White and Blue.
The fourth song, "The Old Ways (Men's Fancy)" expresses in Cherokee: "We honor our ancestors; we are grateful for the old ways of the People."
"Come My Love" is a delightful Two Step which says, in English, "Come my love and dance with me!"
"Women of the 507th" is an Honoring Song for all Women Warriors represented by Jessica Lynch, Shoshona Johnson and Lori Piestewa who served in the U.S. Army 507th Company during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This song is dedicated to all military men and women, both past and present, and their families who stand by them.
Featured is "Stai Yu" a Sneak Up Dance song in Cherokee. The song celebrates the warrior and was composed by members of the group.
"Dragging Canoe” (Men's Traditional), the seventh song on the CD, honors Dragging Canoe, one of the greatest Cherokee warriors. It says "Dragging Canoe was his name, a Cherokee warrior. He was Chickamauga Cherokee and we honor him."
The group's first song writing effort, a Tiny Tot song called "Frybread" is sung to a modified "Peas Porridge Hot" tune.
"Eternal Fire (Fancy Shawl)" says in Cherokee: "The Eternal Fire is in the Heart of the People."
"We Are Dancing" is a Round Dance; this social dance is a staple at pow wows. This song says "We are dancing in the Circle and we are happy."
The CD ends with "Having Fun (Intertribal)." This song says: "We are dancing and having fun. This is good!" A sentiment for all; having fun is a good thing.
Feather River Singers first recording effort received national recognition from the 8th Annual Native American Music Awards when their album was nominated for the 2006 Debut Artist/Group of the Year.
Check with the Feather River Singers website calendar for future dates and to review their past events at www.featherriversingers.com and www.myspace.com/featherriversingers.