Title - 'Are We Free?'
Artist - Burton Guibord
In 1996 Ojibwe singer/songwriter Burton Guibord traveled from Milwaukee to the Austin Acoustic Music Festival where he was one of only two Native American acts out of the 49 featured at the three day event.
Two decades later the last existing cassette copy of his music became the catalyst for revisiting the project and creating a new master from the original recordings, culminating in the 2019 re-release of Are We Free?
Producer/Engineer Gary Tanin of Daystorm Music, was charged with the mastering project proclaiming, “Burton is the real deal. It’s very important that this music gets put out there for younger generations to hear. This is legacy material.”
From the modern-day defiling of Bad River’s Lake Superior 'Madeline Island' to the heart-rending story of a long-ago massacre by 'Bluecoats'; in the poignant story of a homeless family in 'Hey Buddy' to the anger of an oppressed people in 'Chi-mookomaans,' the 11 songs on this disc are as relevant today as they were in 1996 - or 1896. According to Tanin, “Timeless.”
1. 'Watching over You' (3:15)
2. 'Madeline Island' (3:33)
3. 'Why Can't They Comprehend?' (3:52)
4. 'Freedom' (3:38)
5. 'Bluecoat' (3:38)
6. 'Ever Wonder Why' (3:17)
7. 'Hey Buddy' (3:16)
8. 'Northwinds' (2:27)
9. 'Your Heroes' (2:15)
10. 'I'll Be Back' (3:25)
11. 'Chi-Mookomaan' (3:38)
The harmonious gentle bounce of 'Watching over You' opens the album and immediately showcases perfectly what the listener is to experience over the 11 tracks.
The uptempo 'Madeline Island' is then backed by the honest, yearning storytelling of 'Why Can't They Comprehend?' with the gentle Cash-like ambiance of 'Freedom' along next.
The pacey duo of 'Bluecoat' and 'Ever Wonder Why' are followed by the tale of an invisible homeless family with the atmospheric 'Northwinds' up next.
'Your Heroes' is a stand out cut for me and then the album rounds out with the mid-tempo ballad 'I'll Be Back,' and then the spirited 'Chi-Mookomaan' brings an end to a most profoundly genuine album.
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