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|Mary Youngblood||Primary Artist, Flute, Alto Flute, Vocals|
|Tom Wasinger||Dulcimer, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Chimes, Drums, Stick, Zither, Melodica, Kora, Cittern, Cimbalom, chamberlain, Hand Drums, Cahones|
|Mark McCoin||Percussion, Drums|
|James Marienthal||Executive Producer|
|Tom Wasinger||Composer, Producer, Engineer|
|Mary Youngblood||Composer, Poetry, Producer, Liner Notes|
Posted October 1, 2010
Playing Time – 51:45 Dedicated to hurricane Katrina survivors, “Dance with the Wind” recognizes that the wind has many personalities from breeze to gale. With her music swaying to the gentle zephyr, Grammy-award winner Mary Youngblood’s splendid Native American flute-playing is warm and conversational. She adds her gusty vocals on three tracks (Play with Me, Dance with the Wind, Make an Offering). Of Aleut and Seminole descent, Mary has released four previous albums: The Offering, Heart of the World, Beneath the Raven Moon, Feed the Fire. As on her other albums, Tom Wasinger wears pivotal hats as a co-producer, co-writer, and accompanist who plays many different instruments. Other musicians featured are Eric Levine (violin), Jody Price (viola), Mark McCoin (percussion), Larry Thompson (drums), Ray Wasinger (drums), and James Marienthal (piano). An instrumental piece like “Dance with Me” has blustery moments when infused with Celtic-flavored sensibilities of Levine’s silky smooth bow work. Using a dual chambered flute on “My Gypsy Soul,” Mary decorates that piece with a colorful, breezy wrap although I felt like it could’ve used a tad more diversity. Her approach is to keep her melodies and arrangements fairly simple. My guess is that she does this to have a greater impact on a listener’s emotions without cluttering her tunes with technical overload. Youngblood’s music draws inspiration from various genres from classical to jazz, and traditional to new age. With flutes always in the forefront, the music has rich, distinctive timbre and usually a jaunty lilt. At the middle of the set, more stark and wistful pieces like “Find the Song” and “Lost Long Ago” are contemplative and seem to convey calm statements about pursuing dreams. This album does convey some elements of predictability that reinforce Youngblood’s signature sound established over the years. Her multi-tracked vocals on “Play with Me” honor the trees for the voices they have given her to her music in the form of guitar and flute. At track eight, “Make an Offering” is her own declaration about the importance of music in her life to sing breath into the soul. In a subtle reference to an earlier song at track seven, Mary also sings “find the song lost long ago, Its melody will lead us home.” Spare instrumental settings keep the arrangements lean, bordering on new age at times to create soothing aural soundscapes. “Blood of my Blood” has a jazzy chordal progression, walking bass line, and muted strings of a Hungarian cymbalom. That makes for interesting cross-genre pollination. This type of hammered dulcimer also appears in the mix of “Find the Song.” “Reach for the Sky” is the one piece that also has Mary playing piano along with Native American wooden flute and alto flute. “On Our Journey” is one of the more lyrical and melodic instrumental tracks. A bonus track closes the genial album on an ethereal note. Adopted as a baby by a middle class non-Indian family, Mary grew up studying piano, violin, classical flute, guitar and ballet. As an adult, she decided to concentrate on wooden flute, and she now owns over 250 hand carved instruments that celebrate her heritage. On the stage of life, “Dance with the Wind” is about seeking dreams, meeting goals, searching for answers, finding truth, and experiencing freedom. Whether you find it mystical, magical, mysterious, or mesmerizing, there’s one word that best describes Mary’s music. That is memorable! (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2010
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Posted October 18, 2010
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