**Nominated Best Native American Album 2007 New Age Reporter Lifestyle Music Awards**
With this most recent solo release entitled “Opening the Gate”, GRAMMY® nominated artist Gentle Thunder steps out with her fourth album that eloquently weaves all of her musical voices together, showcases her versatility and celebrates the path of a woman blazing her own trail in the world of music. It exemplifies the power of nuance and subtlety at it’s finest. The Wall Street Journal’s Jim Fusilli called her music “direct and organic”.
Gene Bates - Whispering Wind Magazine writes:
"The performances are strong, the songwriting is solid and the arrangements are flawless. The energy emitting from this CD is phenomenal!... Another triumph for Gentle Thunder, 'Opening the Gate' is excellent!"
“Opening the Gate” is a timeless recording that brings the listener closest to the experience of one of Gentle Thunder's live solo events. A present time capturing of her essence, both musically and energetically, it was pristinely recorded, mixed and mastered by Brian Todd at Rough Giraffe Studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The graphic wizardry was created by Shimmering Wolf at Shimmering Wolf Studios, inside drawing by Jeremiah Conte and photography of Gentle Thunder by Art Durand at Art Durand Photography. Bette Timm, Aura Magazine writes: “Gentle Thunder’s grand hammer dulcimer immediately grabs your attention and calls you home to your heart, to your center, to a welcomed place within.”
Gentle Thunder is a multi-instrumentalist (grand hammer dulcimer, drums and Native American flutes), composer, producer, visionary and voting member of The Recording Academy whose musical journey began at age thirteen in the Seattle area as a rock-n-roll drummer. Largely a self-taught artist with very little musical training she began playing professionally while still in high school. In 1990 her recording career took her to Memphis, TN for two years where she became captivated by the hammer dulcimer and the portion of her maternal ancestry that is Native American (Cree). It was in connecting with her ancient roots that she remembered her interconnectedness to all life and began to consciously walk the beauty way. She let go of her familiar path as a rock-n-roll drummer and moved to Mt. Shasta, CA where the “voice” of her spirit expanded … performing with Shasta Taiko (Japanese drumming), playing hammer dulcimer, piano, ceremonial drumming and Native American flutes.
After many years of holding the groove for other artists, she branched out as a solo artist in 1994. Live and on recording, Gentle Thunder enchants audiences around the world with her distinctive sound and heart-filled presence. Both previous solo CDs “Awakening Remembrance” (hammer dulcimer) and “Winds of the Heart” (solo Native American flute) charted in the Top 100 New Age Reporter. Her third release, “Beyond Words with Will Clipman & AmoChip Dabney”, is a refreshing collaboration with these two multi-GRAMMY® nominated artist kindred spirits and showcases her exceptional full spectrum musicality on multiple instruments. Beyond Words was engineered by AmoChip Dabney at Completly Bare Studios and Jim Pavett at Allusion Studios in Tucson, AZ. The album was mixed and mastered by Lumin White at Transformations located in Novato, CA and graphic wizardry by Shimmering Wolf.
Since its debut, “Beyond Words” spent 2006 in the Top 100 New Age Reporter charts, charted #27 overall for the year, was 2006 GRAMMY® nominee for Best New Age Album, nominated Best Native American album New Age Reporter Awards, nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at the 2006 Indian Summer Music Awards and recognized as one of Bill Binkelman’s top picks for 2006.
In 2007 Gentle Thunder has branched out with her music company GT Productions to produce up-and-coming new artists. Gentle Thunder co-produced Ann Licater’s solo flute CD, “Following the Call”, recorded, mixed, mastered with Brian Todd at Rough Giraffe Studio, was #1 Bestseller at East West Bookstore and featured on NPR’s “Hearts of Space”. Bill Binkelman, New Age Reporter writes about "Following the Call", “Of course, when I read the liner notes and saw that the CD was co-produced by the extremely talented multi-instrumentalist (and fellow Native-influenced flutist) Gentle Thunder, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. GT, as she is known, is the consummate musical perfectionist (as well as being a passionate and spiritual person) so her sonic fingerprints were easy to hear… if you enjoy Native-influenced flute music, you should consider this a must-have release.”
Gentle Thunder responded to a request from singer/songwriter Mariee Sioux to play Native American flute on her debut album “Faces in the Rocks”, and stepped forward to bring her artistry, ceremony and mentorship to this talented young artist. Mariee’s unique album was clearly and powerfully supported by the Great Mystery. It co-produced by Gentle Thunder and Dana Gumbiner who also engineered, mixed and mastered the album at Gumbiner's Station to Station Studio in Grass Valley, CA for the Grass Roots Record label. The Sacramento News and Review said: "’Faces in the Rocks’ features eight songs that meld together the best of the folk-pop tradition with a contemporary vibe, tempered with traditional American Indian instruments and spirituality."
The fourth and final album recording sessions of 2007 for GT was a duo album with her 7/20 Twin, 4-time GRAMMY Nominee and percussionist extraordinaire Will Clipman. Both born on July 20th, they embrace and engage audiences with their intimate and authentic musical alchemy. The expansive range of Gentle Thunder’s grand hammer dulcimer, Native American flutes, and drumming, woven with Will’s pan-global palette of percussion, personifies their unique connection. This dynamic duo’s studio creation is an experience of live groove artistry. It is their clear intention to transport the listener beyond words to a place of pure rhythm and harmony, wherein the musicians become the instruments and there is only the music. Their new duo album, recorded by Jim Pavett at Allusion Studio, Tucson, AZ at the autumn Equinox in 2007 and will be released at an unknown future date. It is timeless music and a sumptuous offering of their sonic and spiritual synergy.
Additionally, she performs at schools, sharing her story to inspire youth to follow their dreams, offers her music and presence in various life celebration ceremonies and works with Rising International to end world poverty.
Whether performing solo, in collaboration, creating soundtrack music or producing other fabulous artists, Gentle Thunder is deeply dedicated to Mother Earth, walking a path of beauty, honoring all life as sacred and bringing the vision of wholeness and love to all she does.
Captain Christopher, Music Director-WTUL Radio New Orleans, LA writes: “This artist is dear to my heart, my little daughter of the Universe. She has her footing solidly planted in a reverence for Mother Earth, combined with REAL talent on several instruments. Her collaboration with major Native American & jazz musicians plus nominations for important music awards, puts her in the forefront of other contemporary artists. Open your heart to her creativity & let the warmth sink in. It’ll carry you thru many a cold night by the campfire.”