Young Grey Horse Society,
Songs of the Blackfeet
(Canyon, 1998)

Songs of the Blackfeet, volume 17 of the Canyon Records Vintage Collection, was originally recorded in 1977. The Young Grey Horse Society of Browning, Montana, was led by Wayne Bear Medicine and was dedicated to the preservation of Blackfeet traditions for the future generations. When Wayne Bear Medicine passed away in 1995, his people decided to carry out his wish for keeping the group together and preserving the old songs.

The harmony of these young performers is outstanding. The songs are extremely layered and have contrasting vocables beneath the melodies. Often the melodies are in contrast. The vocables span the entire range from wails to yips. The drum is extremely prominent and emphatic.

The female voices tend to dominate these songs and create an interesting mixture, especially for a group that is named after an aging warrior society. Between the highest of the female notes and the lowest male note, there is a tremendous tonal difference. This adds to the layered effect and is quite interesting.

The Young Grey Horse Society is Wayne Bear Medicine, Thelma Bear Medicine, Denise Bear Medicine, Durand Bear Medicine, Kevin Bear Medicine, Armand Bear Medicine, Neola Bear Medicine, Wanda Bear Medicine, Milana Bear Medicine, Michele Bear Medicine, Leland Bear Medicine, Joe Scabby Robe, Emily Scabby Robe, Don Parsons and Nels Costel.

Songs included on this CD are "Original Grey Horse Society Song," "Owl and Grass Dance Song," "Grass Dance Song" and "Owl Dance Song."

This is another collector's CD that features a now deceased performer and an original group. This group has evolved into another group, Young Grey Horse, that features the children of the singers on this CD. This is your opportunity to own the work of the original group.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 7 June 2003

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