Arlie's Hotlist of Contemporary Artists
This is a list of owner Arlie Neskahi's highly recommendeds and must haves, in the Contemporary music genre. Click on the pictures with colored borders for soundbites in Real Audio format. This page is graphic intensive, so please be patient while it loads.

Indigenous; Things We Do
Here they are, the smoking blues band that has been tearing up the Native Music scene.  I would venture to say that this group is the greatest Native American blues band ever!  A family group, two brothers on guitar, another playing percussion, and their sister keeping them all in line on the drums!!  This is the real deal... their professionalism comes through on this release from their newly signed deal with Pachyderm Records.  The name Stevie Ray Vaughn keeps coming up in reviews of their music... listen to the music clip and you will know why. This is a must-have release and watch for Indigenous in a city near you.  We also have their first release, Blues from the Sky.
Things We Do

Joanne Shenandoah & Lawrence Laughing; Orenda
Iroquois singers Shenandoah and Laughing have put together a winner.  There are very few male/female duet productions in the 90's.  There were several in the 70's with Shenandoah appearing in classic recordings with Paul Ortega.  Once again she joins voices with a fine singer, Lawrence Laughing.  Together they weave in and around traditional Iroquois melodies with contemporary world accompaniment.  The result is an exquisite mix of harmony, emotion, and presence that will embrace you with the power and texture of the Native Melody and Voice.  This is a piece of the cutting edge of the emerging Native Music genre...



Tracy Lee Nelson; 500 Years of the Blues
So you want a little of the blues? Here he is...introducing Tracy Lee Nelson. One of the finest Native blues guitarists of the decade! Here in his first release he plays an assortment of acoustic blues, in the style of Robert Johnson, no amps, no fuzz, just pure acoustic Native Blues. Tracy is being noticed as an excellent songwriter whose compositions cut to the bone. Tracy and his band "Native Blues" have been a hit over the last year at Native Music Festivals around Indian Country. You'd better get this one is already classic in my book. Sorry, no CD at this time, this is a debut release produced by Tracy himself... all proceeds go directly to Tracy himself, hey there! Support Native business as well!!!
500 Years of the Blues



Ulali; Mahk Jchi
The trio of fabulous female voices featured on Robby Robinson's Red Road Ensemble. This recording is one of the hottest releases on the Native Scene! Singing with traditional flair and adding their own inspired creative edge, Ulali combines traditional vocable singing with blues, gospel, and jazz harmonies. The result is a sound that carries the spirit of their Grandmothers', while being soulful and rapt, as En Vogue... In the greatest tradtion of the Native Voice, all songs done a capella with hand percussion. You will marvel as I to the happy sound of Grandpa'a banjo, and smile as their voices call for dignity and justice over the backdrop of Custer's charging song. Touring heavily, watch for them in your region. This release is an excellent addition to any Native Music collection.

Mahk Jchi



Jerry Alfred & the Medicine Beat; Etsi Shon, Grandfather's Songs
Etsi Shon pic From Pelly Crossing, Yukon Territory, comes a melding of traditional voice, story, and contemporary music. A stellar production from this group! Being a traditional singer myself, there are few releases that impress me with their use of native vocals. This release provides a beautiful and moving example of what is the future of this genre. Jerry was named a songcarrier by his people at birth and this allows him to compose wonderful vocable melodies that weave in and around the other instruments. Adding intimacy to the performance, many songs are introduced with the story that gave it birth. A landmark release, a masterpiece of musical collaboration!!

Etsi Shon



Bill Miller; Raven in the Snow
Raven in the Snow pic Still on my list as one of the all-time great Native rock recordings! It has become one of our best sellers. Native rock and roll at it's finest and most professional. Bill Miller has appeared several times on Austin City Limits and with this release goes full bore into the rock scene. His previous Warner release, The Red Road, was a mixture of traditional and contemporary sounds which has also been well received. Bill is an excellent songwriter, his Raven in the Snow track rocks while delivering a powerful message of identity and strength against adversity. You've got to hear it... Hey, and the liner photos and notes design are real cool, too.

Raven in the Snow



Burning Sky; Blood of the Land

Burning Sky pic

Creation pic

One of our best sellers, an outstanding trio out of Arizona, blending original and Native melodies with acoustic guitar, traditional wooden flute, world percussion, and just the right touch of jazz... This group played at the Clinton Inaugaural Ball last winter and continues to receive rave reviews. One of the finest contemporary recordings to be released in recent times! My favorite cut is Abalone Heart, beautiful flute melody by Kelvin Bizahaloni (Dine'), with Aaron White's (Dine'/Ute) pure acoustic guitar lines, and magical percussion by Michael Bannister. BTW, Michael, the Buddhist cymbal was a perfect choice. This album is so good, when people hear it, they buy two or three more for their friends! 

Now! get Burning Sky's newest release, Creation... This is their new followup recording, and is sure to be a hit with all their new fans. A musical prayer for the Four Directions and powers of life; Sun, Wind, Rain and Earth. Music as wide as the Arizona landscape from which it was born. 

Blood of the Land



Sharon Burch; Touch the Sweet Earth & Yazzie Girl


Touch the Sweet Earth pic

Yazzie Girl pic

My personal opinion is that everyone should have a copy of this recording! Sharon has perfected her own folk/acoustic/Native traditional style. Her singing is pure and the emotions ride her melodies. Drawing from the spiritual life of her Dine' (Navajo) People for her lyrical and vocable content, the result is a unique marriage of classic folk and deep Dine' tradition. The songs are delivered in her native Dine' language while the liner notes provide English translation as well as excellent background about her songs. 

This is her followup to her previous well-received release called, Yazzie Girl, so named after two very special "Yazzie Girls", her grandmother and mother. Get them both, Sharon is a true Native gem, she will be in the Native Women's music hall of fame, mark my words... Aheh heh, Sharon. 

Touch the Sweet Earth
Yazzie Girl


Rainbow Walker Home Page