various artists,
Apache: Traditional Apache Songs
(Canyon, 1998)

Apache: Traditional Apache Songs is volume 5 of the Canyon Records Vintage Collection and is available as a single or as part of the set. The songs were recorded between 1966 and 1986 and are taken from the traditional music of the White Mountain and San Carlos Apaches.

The songs are grouped together according to the artist. The eight by Patsy Cassadore, a San Carlos Apache, stand out from the rest. She has a magnificent voice that ranges across the octaves with no loss of quality in tone. Her brother, Philip Cassadore, performs the first eight songs. He also has a strong voice with extreme ability across the octaves. They must have inherited their musical voices form their father, Chief Broken Arrow.

All the selections have prominent percussion. The bells and chimes are especially prominent in these songs. The drums usually maintain a smooth and continuous rhythm throughout the selection with no changeups or abrupt stops. The songs are more laidback than the Northern Plains style. They are more serene and less intense in the vocables.

My favorite of the collection is "I'm In Love With a Navajo Boy." It is about an Apache woman that is married to a Navajo goatherder. She is homesick and wants him to go with her to join her people in her own native home. I also really like "Where Are You Going," about a woman daydreaming of a man she used to like. She is wondering where he is and what is going on in his life. These songs are of a more delicate and soft nature than most Native American music. They are quite feminine and soothing.

The selections on this CD include "Mountain Spirit Dance," "Another Mountain Spirit Dance," "Rain Dance Song," "Apache Creation Song," "Girl Who Is Afraid of Boys," "Social Song," "Sacred Cave Song," "A Better Life Ahead," "Sunrise Ceremonial Song #1 (Changing Woman Ceremony)," "With My Prayer I Am Protected," "The White Painted Lady," "Crown Dance Song," "People Know Me Wherever I Go," "I've Been Around," "Where Have You Been," "Wedding Party Song," "Good-Bye, I'm Leaving," "Thunder Song " and "Horse Song."

This is a nice addition to any music collection. It is worth the purchase price just to get the songs by Patsy. There are not many women performing traditional Native American music and this lady is certainly an exceptional performer.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 23 August 2003