Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Gu-Achi Fiddlers : Black Mountain Mazurka

The Gu-Achi Fiddlers : Black Mountain Mazurka (buy) (1988)

While searching the Canyon Records site for Native music, I stumbled on a review of this record, which is a living example of the great melting-pot of American popular music. And the perfect transition post between Indian and Hispanic music, the next style I will study in my exploration of US music's origins.

The Gu-Achi fiddlers belong to the Tohono O'odham (Desert People) Nation, formerly known as the Papago. They're from the Sonora desert, in Southern Arizona. They play fiddle music, backed by bass drum, snare drum and a guitar. Their music is an amazing mix of Indian melodies, Spanish and Mexican influences (especially norteno), and they play dances from all parts of Europe : polka, mazurka, 2-step.
As the title suggests, this is old time music, precursor to a more recent style called waila or chicken scratch, with saxophone, drums and electric guitar.

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