Bear Creek (Native American): Landry, Justin Perrault, Mike Tegosh, Joe Syrette, Rob Essex, Kevin Syrette, Nick Hewson, John Syrette, Gabe Gaudet, MZ Thomas, Andrew Nahwegahbow, Rodney Stanger, Tom Hare, Nitanis Cekit, Mike Willis.
Much more traditional than many releases by the Canadian Native label Arbor Records, Bear Creek's The Show Must Go On is a live recording of a northern-style Ojibway drum-and-vocal group. Recorded in the manner of a powwow performance, the 14 members of the group sing in their native tongue to the hypnotic rhythms of their own drumming. Those who aren't familiar with this type of music may find it difficult to tell where individual tracks begin and end, especially since several of the 11 tracks on the CD segue almost imperceptibly, but adventurous listeners might not find this music entirely alien: at some points, like the ecstatic climax of "154 Street," a manic edge creeps into some of the vocals that Meredith Monk or Yoko Ono fans will recognize. The much more pop-oriented Arbor releases by artists like Longhouse or Little Hawk might be an easier starting point for non-native listeners cultivating an interest in Native American music, but The Show Must Go On is a logical next step. ~ Stewart Mason