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4 R ANCESTORS LIVE SHAKORI HILLS GRASSROOTS FEST

NAMA HALL OF FAME

SAY YOUR NAME

Summer of Canyons and Mystic Waters II

Monster Jams and Vermillionaires

By the beautiful gorges of Ithaca we played the Grassroots Festival in T-burg, New York. Grassroots is a natural occurrence of positive human collaboration in joy. Or at least it seems like it – the staff and volunteers have pure hearts and sheer perseverance. We've done Grassroots for about ten years but this year we all agree we had some of our best shows. Moontee Sinquah and his sons joined us for this set. We were blessed with a monster jam on Sunday featuring the wonderful Jeb Puryear, Kathy Zeigler, Richie Stearns, Clayson Benally, Hank Roberts Jr., and our Hoop Extravaganza featuring both the Sinquah and Sampson families. Soaring flutes filled our Sunday set complete with an interpretive dance delivered by Darice Sampson.

There's nothing like closing Grassroots in the company of dearest friends chanting the melody of NDN Karz into the starry sky. At Grassroots, the thousand bobbing faces out in the crowd each day are your nearest and dearest friends, old and new.

Later that week we hosted the Unity Run at Akwesasne. We invaded friendly territory at CKON and the guys toured the river with the Pirates of St. Lawrence and visited a pirate's cove. Thank you to Neddie,  Kevin and the CKON staff. Thank you to the beautiful people at the Freedom School. Thank you to the runners.

We returned to Niagara and played a full on Rock 'n Roll set with Foreigner (two words: Jason Bonham). The sky offered us a royal deluge then, too, but the show went on and a sea of people flowed into the arena, clapping their hands and warming their hearts to Fry Bread.

From Niagara we coasted southerly style to Alleghany to play with Chris Isaak. It was a lean, mean and infectious set that left us with a lot of energy and very little merchandise. The lovely Grace and Eric joined us there and ran our merch booth and brought late night nourishment. Dave Kahr and his family joined us, along with Mitch, the Loaded Lawyer (translate that any way you like) and his two wild and brilliant sisters who could throw down the proverbial party glove with the best of them. We had an after-show jam session where Mitch showed us the wonders of his "freight-train guitar method."

We headed west; we danced and played with fervor in Lake of the Woods with the Anishinabe. Blues prodigy George Leach joined us for our set that night. We swam in Lake Superior and stood on the Canadian Shield. We learned how to piss someone off or pick someone up in Anishinabe. We dropped and forgot our anchor in the sparkling waters of the Vermillion and feasted on wild rice and walleye. We touched the wisdom of the Witch Tree and were touched by the wisdom of the Anishinabe elders at Grand Portage. It seems every show we pour ourselves out more and more and walk away replenished.

Next blog: The Purpose of the Pause