Gerald Primeaux, Sr., A Tradition Continues… – Harmonized Peyote Songs

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Songs without words for the head and the heart .

Primeaux is a Lakota Sioux who conducts Native American Church services — in other words, he knows the way of peyote intimately. What he does differently here is elegantly simple, but mostly unknown in Native American music — he adds a harmony vocal to the songs. It might seem like nothing, but it changes the whole complexion of the music, adding another layer over the hypnotic beat of the pow-wow drum. It's music as medicine, a quiet revolution in traditional sound, and in touch with nature (literally — check out the birdsong that flutters behind the voices). These are songs without words for the head and the heart — a new, technicolor soundtrack to the peyote ceremony. It might be worlds away from psychedelia, but in its own dignified way it's every bit as trippy. Feed your head.