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John Trudell
April 1999

You've ve got to be patient in these times where patience doesn't seem to be on top of everybody's priority list. I had no idea who John Trudell is until only recently when I stumbled across his name in an article on American Indian musicians. It contained the quote by Robert Zimmerman a.k.a. Bob Dylan, who said way back in 1992 that Trudell's CD "AKA Grafitti Man" was the best album of the year.

Now that's a strong comment, eh? And wouldn't you also want to know a bit more about this John Trudell?

I went to CDnow, the Internet Music Shop, which I still prefer against others, and checked whether there was anything available by John Trudell. There was, and I ordered two CDs. The one Bob Dylan mentioned and another one from 1994 called "Johnny Damas and me", executively produced by Jackson Browne. That's not a bad reference either, I thought.

To have Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne as back-up fellows of your music is support which can't get better in rock music, can it?

"Down under" the CDs arrived a few days ago, and since then they are played whenever I'm at home. Thank God, I'm currently alone in the house because my companions would certainly complain about listening to the same music day in, day out. But what's wrong with listening to John Trudell more often than not?

What can I say? John Trudell is a master of language and poetry, and he has the perfect voice to get across what he's after, which is American Indian politics. The music is neither Dylanesque nor Brownesque. It is genuinely John Trudell's own style. Listen to that dark, deep voice on top of a rocking band, and you'll know what I mean. Hey, even Zimmerman must have thought that this Trudell guy comes across better than he does.

Trudell's music translates into: rock, folk, blues, and most of all: American Indian music. He's expressive in his words and his music and he's supported by a whole bunch of exquisite musicians like the late Jesse Ed Davis on guitar, another musician of American Indian descent highly acclaimed by rock music critics and at least some fans. Trudell's music is a highly potent mixture of insight, reflection, and beauty of sound of "roots music" in its best sense.

I'm wondering (again) why Trudell hasn't become more popular because he certainly deserves a place in the Hall of Fame of Quality Music. Perhaps, I still don't understand what these different "Halls" and "Awards" are all about.

Feels like I'm out of touch with business.

Copyright © by Eberhard Wenzel, 1997-2001