Roots Culture Redefined
Black Voices

BGS 5+5: Julian Taylor

Artist: Julian Taylor Hometown: Toronto Latest Album: Beyond the Reservoir (October 14, 2022) Personal Nicknames: JT Which artist has influenced you the most … and how? There are so many, but from a songwriting point of view, I would have to say Jim Croce would be one and another would be B...
Black Voices

LISTEN: Julian Taylor, “Wide Awake”

Artist: Julian Taylor Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Song: “Wide Awake” Album: Beyond the Reservoir Release Date: October 14, 2022 Label: Howling Turtle, Inc. In Their Words: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I deal with feelings of regret. I know that what I think ab...
Indigenous Voices

LISTEN: Julian Taylor, “Seeds”

Artist: Julian Taylor Hometown: Toronto, Ontario Song: “Seeds” Release Date: June 24, 2022 Editor’s Note: “Seeds” was inspired by a text that Taylor received from his cousin the morning after it was announced that 215 uncovered remains of buried Indigenous children h...
Shout & Shine

Texas Songwriter Vincent Neil Emerson Believes Indigenous Music Is Folk Music

The self-titled country album by East Texan singer-songwriter Vincent Neil Emerson (Choctaw-Apache) oozes of the iconic “Wild West” with honky-tonk sensibilities and bluegrass touches that combine so many favorite textures and styles of country and Americana’s primordial ooze. His personality and...
Indigenous Voices

WATCH: Digging Roots, “Cut My Hair”

Artist: Digging Roots Hometown: Barrie, Ontario, Canada Song: “Cut My Hair” Album: Zhawenim Release Date: 2022 Label: Ishkōdé Records In Their Words: “‘Cut My Hair’ is a mishkiki (medicine) song about the Indian Residential School experience which is directly linked ...
Video Premiere

WATCH: Charly Lowry & The Heart Collectors, “Navigating to Hope”

Artist: Charly Lowry & The Heart Collectors Hometown: Charly Lowry: Pembroke, North Carolina; The Heart Collectors: Hinterland Byron Bay, NSW, Australia Song: “Navigating to Hope” from Folk Alliance‘s Artists In (Their) Residence program Release Date: June 1, 2021 In Their W...
Music

BGS 5+5: Lula Wiles

Artist: Lula Wiles Hometown: Our band sort of has two hometowns: we started the band when we were all living in Boston, but we first played music together as tweens at Maine Fiddle Camp, located in Wabanaki (Penobscot) territory (“Montville, Maine”). New Album: Shame and Sedition Personal nicknam...
Indigenous Voices

WATCH: Cha Wa, “My People”

Artist: Cha Wa Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana Song: “My People” Album: My People Release Date: April 2, 2021 Label: Single Lock Records In Their Words: “The message I am trying to send with the ‘My People’ music video is based on ancestral recall. This is a phenome...
Music

WATCH: Samantha Crain, “Bloomsday”

Artist: Samantha Crain Hometown: Shawnee, Oklahoma Single: “Bloomsday” Album: I Guess We Live Here Now EP Release Date: April 9, 2021 Label: Real Kind/Communion In Their Words: “‘Bloomsday’ is the kind of song I never thought I’d be able to write. There is a ce...
Shout & Shine

Indigenous Songwriter Julian Taylor Connects Family and Folk on ‘The Ridge’

Canadian singer-songwriter Julian Taylor didn’t set out to make a country record with The Ridge, but the album oozes with authentic tinges of the vibrant, pan-Canadian roots music scene. Based for most of his career in Toronto, it’s not surprising that the album (produced by Saam Hashemi) feels c...
Music

BGS 5+5: Raye Zaragoza

Artist: Raye Zaragoza Hometown: Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC Latest album: Woman In Color (Rebel River Records) Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): Ray was my nickname for my whole life. My full name is Rayanna. I added the e when I started playing music! What’s your favorite ...
Indigenous Voices

LISTEN: William Prince, “Gospel First Nation”

Artist: William Prince Hometown: Peguis First Nation – Manitoba Song: “Gospel First Nation” Album: Gospel First Nation Release Date: October 23, 2020 Label: Glassnote In Their Words: “Gospel is by definition ‘the good news.’ These songs were capable of lifting spirit...
Music

WATCH: Raye Zaragoza, “They Say” (Featuring Colin Meloy & Laura Veirs)

Artist: Raye Zaragoza (feat. Colin Meloy on harmonica and Laura Veirs on banjo) Hometown: New York City Song: “They Say” Album: Woman in Color (produced by Tucker Martine) Release Date: October 23, 2020 Label: Rebel River Records In Their Words: “This song is about the dysfuncti...
Song Premiere

LISTEN: Cary Morin, “Valley of the Chiefs”

Artist: Cary Morin Hometown: Lives in Fort Collins, Colorado; from Great Falls, Montana Song: “Valley of the Chiefs” Album: Dockside Saints Release Date: August 7, 2020 In Their Words: “A true story told by my great grandmother at my Crow naming ceremony when I was about four years ol...
Indigenous Voices

LISTEN: Julian Taylor, “Love Enough”

Artist: Julian Taylor Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Song: “Love Enough” Album: The Ridge Release Date: May 8, 2020 (single); June 19, 2020 (album) Label: Howling Turtle Inc. In Their Words: “The thing about this song is that melody has lived with me for over a decade, but t...
Indigenous Voices

William Prince Sparks Joy on ‘Reliever’

When Canadian songwriter William Prince cites his influences, there’s one that is particularly surprising: The Mighty Ducks, a feel-good hockey film from 1992. In one pivotal scene, the kids on the down-and-out team get all-new equipment — a cinematic turn of events that Prince has never fo...
Music

WATCH: Samantha Crain, “Garden Dove”

Artist: Samantha Crain Hometown: Shawnee, Oklahoma Song: “Garden Dove” Album: A Small Death Release Date: July 17, 2020 Label: Ramseur Records/Thirty Tigers and Real Kind Records/Communion In Their Words: “With the idea in mind of being better for yourself and learning to love y...
Music

You Need to Listen to More Indigenous Artists

American roots music wouldn’t exist without Indigenous people. Full stop. Just as Black voices and stories largely informed the creation of these genres of music — old-time, bluegrass, blues, Americana, folk, etc. — Indigenous voices and stories often informed those black creato...