Feed the Fire (2004), Mary Youngblood - Music CD
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Track listing: On My Way - Feed the Fire - Sacred Place - Far from Home - Passions to Ignite - Dreams to Find - Long Long Road - Heart's Desire - Destiny - Search for Warmth - On This Journey - She Watches Them Play
Silky touch that is ingratiating and seductive
Playing Time ? 54:09 -- Grammy-award winner Mary Youngblood is an outstanding Native American flutist, and she adds her vocals on four tracks as well. Of Aleut and Seminole descent, she has released three previous albums ? The Offering, Heart of the World, and Beneath the Raven Moon. On ?Feed the Fire,? as with Youngblood?s other albums, Tom Wasinger plays pivotal roles as producer, songwriter, and an accompanist who plays ten different instruments. Other musicians featured are Joanne Shenandoah (vocals), Bill Miller (vocals), James Hoskins (cello), Ian Anderson (flute), Mark McCoin (percussion), Ray Wasinger (drums), and James Marienthal (piano). That?s the same Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame, and he is featured on the spiritually-tinged cut, ?Passions to Ignite.?
The enchanting repertoire always keeps flute and vocals in the forefront and evokes a sense of calmness within a sea of tranquility. Just the right amount of strings, drums, and other instruments complement the arrangements. Flute, guitar and dobro provide the instrumental interplay throughout the bouncy repetitive melody in ?On My Way? that opens the album. That cut (and ones like ?Dreams to Find?) create a soothing aural experience. I particularly liked ?Sacred Place,? which seems to incorporate some Celtic sensibilities. More classical leanings are prevalent on numbers like ?Far From Home? on which Mary plays flute and piano.
Youngblood was adopted by a middle class non-Indian family when she was just seven months old. As a child, she studied piano, violin, classical flute, guitar and ballet. As an adult, she decided to concentrate on wooden flute, and she now owns over 125 hand carved instruments that celebrate her heritage. Her music draws inspiration from various genres from classical to pop, and new age to traditional. ?Feed the Fire? is about following the heart?s desire on a journey that has many forks in the road. ?Feed the Fire? is dedicated to Yougblood?s birth mother who passed away in October, 2003. The title cut, written for her, tells the story of how Youngblood?s birth parents met. Youngblood also honors some other women in her life ? her adopted mother, eight sisters and a daughter. Some proceeds from the sale of this album will support The Sacramento Urban Indian Health Project Inc.
Although pensive at times, Mary Youngblood?s music has a silky touch that is ingratiating and seductive. She?s an artist of breathaking ability, and ?Feed the Fire? is a mesmerizing and successful addition to her list of accomplishments. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)