various artists,
Southern Style Pow-Wow Songs

(Canyon, 1998)

Pow-Wow! Southern Style Pow-Wow Songs was recorded live during the 1971 All Indian Days Pow-Wow in Scottsdale, Ariz. John Knifechief, a Pawnee singer, led a group of southern-style singers in these songs, which vary from the old, traditional songs to new, intertribal pow-wow styles.

The rattles and bells in these pieces are tremendous and the percussion is strong throughout the selections. When you listen to this CD, you feel as if you are actually attending a pow-wow. The bells make you want to get up and join the dancing.

These songs are in the Southern style and contain few vocables or vocal sound effects. They are in the lower-pitched chanting style instead of the high-pitched wailing style of the Northern Plains. They have a deeper resonance because of the lower pitch.

It is difficult for me to select any one single as my favorite, but I really like track 5, "War Dance Song," just a bit better than the others. It has a faster beat and pulsating percussion; the bells and rattles really reverberate through this system during this one.

The selections are representative of the progression of the pow-wow through the three days and are listed on this CD in the order that they occur during the event. If you have ever attended a Southern pow-wow, this CD is a must-have. It will take you back in time to your pow-wow attendance and flood your mind with memories. This is Native American dance music of the finest form.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 21 August 2004