Beaver Chief
Red Cedar Medicine
Lyrichord (

cd cover This is a collection of strongly performed songs of the Lummi Nation of Washington state. Beaver Chief has a powerful, open-throated voice and accompanies himself on drum, bell, and rattles. Jorge Alfano contributes some beautiful, breathily expressive flute as well as additional percussion. The instrumental arrangements are subtle and never overdone, allowing the voices to soar. The a cappella "Full Moon Song' is particularly haunting. The recording quality has a spacious sound to it, perfect for
"Skunk Song"
conveying the expansiveness of the Lummi sound. The only drawbacks are a couple of spoken-word selections explaining the music. Here Beaver Chief gets a little self-reflexive, sounding a bit like he's accepting an Academy Award. He makes several references to the CD itself, giving the impression that he feels the need to do a commercial for it. The text for both of these selections could have been included in the liner notes instead. Skip these two tracks and you'll have a wonderful introduction to Lummi music. - Peggy Latkovich

Song is traditional Lummi, ©2000 Lyrichord Records, NY

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