Highlights: Buffy Sainte-Marie

28 07 2009

First up in my new Highlights Series is the Buffy Sainte-Marie concert I saw in the summer of 2008 at Place-des-Arts in Montreal.  If you have never heard any of her music, you need to go to YouTube now and look her up. A songwriter, singer and activist, Buffy Sainte-Marie has one of the most vibrant voices I’ve ever heard. She is a true inspiration, having stood up against war and injustice, especially against Native peoples, through her music. She was even blacklisted in the U.S. at some point in the 60s or 70s. (All that info is on the webpage I linked to above).

I already had goosebumps when I listened to her recordings, especially Los Pescadores and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,  so I was stoked when I found out from a friend that she was finally going to be performing in Montreal. I went with 3 friends and I was amazed at the positive energy this lady has.  I spent the whole show marvelling at how, even from a distance, I could feel her. Her voice gave me even more goosebumps live. When she sang classics such as Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Universal Soldier, the air was palpable. She also rocked the house with a tune from her newer album. She even played her mouth bow! That night, I found out that one of her songs, Until It’s Time for You to Go, was recorded by a bunch of people ranging from Elvis Presley to Barbara Streisand to Neil Diamond.

In short, it was a glorious event, made even more special, in a way, by the fact that I may never get to see her live again since it was her first performance in Montreal and there seems to be little chance of her coming back with her reducing the number of speaking engagements and shows that she does.

To give you a taste:

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4 responses

29 07 2009
Shirley Anne

That recording doesn’t do her justice Jacky. I remember her recordings in the 60’s and 70’s and she was good. Many of her recordings had a message in them and as you say, she became a thorn in the side of US politics of the day. A girl born into and part of the hippy generation she was loved by those who really understood her. I haven’t seen her live but I’ll wager her concerts were something to attend. I am not sure though that she is as good as she was back then. Age has a nasty habit of catching up on us doesn’t it?

Shirley Anne x

29 07 2009
Jacky V.

True, but I wanted to promote a song that wasn’t as known as, say, Wounded Knee. But, yeah, it’s hard to capture her spirit on a YouTube video. I don’t know how she was in concert back in the heyday but I can assure you that she is full of vitality. Truly amazing.

I know that she also helped start a school on Native education. Full of great stuff, this one.

30 07 2009
Dave

Shirley Ann, Buffy played 2 nights ago in London and believe me you have heard nothing like that womans voice now… Age hasn’t caught up with Buffy even at 68… The power and maturity of her voice were astounding… Compared with anything online from any time in the past Buffy is just getting better…..but check out other reviews of the London show… it is agreed that she was astoundingly good.

3 08 2009
Jacky V.

Thanks for your feedback Dave! I only saw her that one time last year so I had nothing to compare with but I was quite amazed.

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