Mary Youngblood,
Dance with the Wind
(Silver Wave, 2006)

The opening track on this wonderful CD will mesmerize and relax you as only the music of a person as in touch with the elements as this artist is can achieve in a few short minutes.

From the movies like Dances with Wolves, we are used to the "white man's interpretation" of Native American music, but here we can experience -- and I use the word advisedly -- the genuine article.

Mary Youngblood is an expert in her Native American flutes, and when you add the other instrumentation and arrangement this very soul of the old wilderness is filtered and made all the more enjoyable to modern ears. She adds drums, violins, chimes and much more, but never loses that authentic sound.

These are not long lost items of a heritage but in the main, new compositions from a lady steeped in her roots and love of nature.

Instrumental tracks with titles like "Misty Rain," "Wind Whispers" and "My Gypsy Soul" give us an indication of what to expect, but the realisation of these titles in music is beautiful.

This wonder is extended on the few vocal offerings that reveal a beautifully modulated voice ideally suited to the lyrics and sentiments.

"Play With Me" epitomizes this aspect of a great album as the melodious voice melds into the flute music and is accompanied by just about perfect harmony. You will find it hard not to accept her invitation to "Dance with Me." Be sure to seek out "Make an Offering," with its lyrics like "If music's all you've got to give, play for me, then I might live."

The CD concludes with the title track, and I defy anyone who has listened not to feel uplifted by the music, the sentiments, the natural wonder and the delivery.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

19 April 2008

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