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Power In The Blood

Buffy Sainte-Marie

True North Records 2015

Review by David Bowling

 

Buffy Sainte-Marie is an iconic folk singer whose career stretches back to 1962. Always in the forefront of social activism and protest, she has now returned with her 16th studio release Power In The Blood.

While her voice still takes some getting used too, it is fine for a folk artist interpreting, in this case her own songs. She has always been a talented songwriter who is best known for her incisive songs of protest, pride, environmental concerns, and anti-war themes. Often forgotten is the fact that she has produced a number of love songs, including the beautiful “Until Its Time For You To Go.” Her new release continues to visit these themes that have served her so well for the last half-century.

She was an important part of the folk protest generation of the 1960’s and the title track and chilling “The Uranium War” return her to that time period. At the other end of the spectrum is the beautiful “Love Charms (Mojo Bijoux),” which just about matches anything from her past.

She reaches back to her first album of over 50 years ago for a re-imaging of “It’s My Way” and then alters the words to another previous release “Generation.”

In some places she veers away from the simplicity of her past as her vocals are layered. It is also good to see an album of all original material.

Despite a couple of loves songs her new album is not as gentle as many in her past. The harder edge fits the world around her well as she continues to inter-act with her surroundings.

Power In The Blood continues Buffy Sainte-Marie’s legacy of strong songs that move in many directions. It shows some growth, which is always appreciated for an artist in her mid-70s. It is a good traditional folk album, which is what is expected for an artist of her stature.

 

Rating: ***1/2

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