EVERYBODY DANCE NOW: A review of "The American Indians Play Waila"

Review by Dawn Karima Pettigrew

"The American Indians Play Waila". Canyon Records:
CR-6120,2006, 73:32minutes,cd.

Quick--name several traditional Native American
instruments. Drums, flutes, rattles, gourds, even the
voices of singers would probably appear on most
people's lists. Yet, The American Indians Play
Waila,
a recent release from Canyon Records, features
saxophones, accordions, guitars in its renditions of
the traditional Native music of the Southwest.

Waila, a popular musical genre among the Native
people of Southwest Arizona, reflects the Spanish
influence on indigenous residents of the region. With
its lively, energetic combination of high-volume
sounds, waila inspires listeners to participate in
social dances. Polka, Two-Step, and other styles of
social dancing blend into fun, when played
waila-style.

Frequently referred to as "chicken scratch",
waila crosses genres and generations. As a result,
waila has gathered fans from a wide variety of age
groups, tribal affiliations and dance styles. This cd
celebrates the many facets of waila.

The American Indians Play Waila shares the
talents of these Tohono O'odham (Papago) musicians.
The band plays and composes waila tunes, which
demonstrate the artists' passion for this music.
Standout songs include "Come Home Tonight", "Song from
Way Back" and "Old-Timer Two-Step".

Dancers will enjoy the variety of two-steps and
polkas. These include "Arrowhead Two-Step", "Desert
Polka", and "White Dove Polka". The American Indians
Play Waila
provides more than an hour of upbeat
musical fun, that can be enjoyed by anyone who likes
to dance.

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