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"Extremely good and cool" - Archie Cheechoo
September 1999

It was the Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn who commented on Archie Cheechoo as being "extremely good and cool". Archie Who?

Well, that's the problem with everyone who does not have a major record company backing up her/his record with massive advertisment. Archie Cheechoo is a Cree artist from Ontario (Canada), and his first CD "Child of the North" is assessed by Bruce Cockburn as: "Archie Cheechoo speaks the truth."

This is an appropriate assessment, I agree with.

Archie's musical roots were shaped by Country, Folk, Rock and the Native style. Out of this melting pot comes what Kirby Mianskum calls "New Aboriginal Alternative Music". Kirby speaks from 23 years experience as a pow-wow singer with the renowned WhiteTail Singers.

Cheechoo's music has been used by many different agencies and projects: the filmmaker Lloyd Walton uses it in some of his documentaries; Norman Jewison's film on Liona Boyd relies on Archie's music as much as does Alanis Obomasawin's "Christmas at Moose Factory".

During the 1970s and 1980s, Archie was one of the many strong political voices advancing the resolution of Indian Rights among the Cree and Ojibway of Northern Ontario. He became a Deputy Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation and held his elected position for four years.

In the 1990s, Archie returned to his love of music and songwriting. The result is "Child of the North", a 10-song CD full of inspiring lyrics and a variety of musical styles. In the end it's a Archie Cheechoo CD, which I don't dare to compare with anybody else in the music business.

It offers excellent songs, for example, "Take me back to the Rez", which will touch you instantly. There are two reasons for the impact, Archie generates: his voice is clear and straight forward, and the music is plain music, no gimmicks. In fact, the songs sometimes sound as if they are the first take during recording. They sound "live", that is to say.

While listening to the CD several times, I felt that Archie and Buffy St. Marie would be a perfect combination. Their songs carry the deep spirituality of American Indians and mix them with contemporary modes of popular music. Wouldn't it be fun to have them performing together?

Well, concerning your Christmas presents, here comes the bad news: Archie's CD is not (yet?) available in record stores. You need to order it via the following addresses:

Gary Sheehan, GSDisplays

Archie Cheechoo
P.O. Box 20029
North Bay, ON P1B 9N1
Tel.: +1-705-495 6077

Go and get this moving piece of Indian rock-folk-country music. You won't regret it.

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