WASHINGTON – Robby Romero and Stacey Thunder, owners of Eagle Thunder Entertainment, have announced the July release of a new CD featuring the Red Lake Singers, a group of six elder male singers from the Red Lake Nation in northern Minnesota.
The Red Lake Singers are Dan Bellanger, Joe “Tiny” Bellanger, Johnny Smith, James “Gus” Strong, Peter Strong, Sr., and Willy Strong. Romero served as producer, and Thunder as executive producer. The CD was recorded by Jason Orris and Rob Oesterlin at The Terrarium, Minneapolis, Minn., mixed by Romero and Steve Addabbo, and mastering by Tom Hutten, Bionic Mastering, New York City.
The group’s style of singing belongs to the genre well-known throughout Indian country as “pow wow music.” This raw recording was produced to capture and preserve old songs and an “old-style” of singing of the Ojibwe people at Red Lake, one of the most traditional Indian communities in the country. The Red Lake Singer’s fathers, grandfathers and uncles taught the songs to them when they were young boys, as early as the 1920s.
“It is an honor to be part of this project with my relatives, especially knowing these songs will always be with us now and for the generations to come,” Thunder said.
“Listening to the Red Lake Singers recall songs in the studio from the ’20s and lay them down like that was a wonderful experience,” Romero said. He said the CD would premiere at the Red Lake Nation Independence Day Pow-wow July 6.
This will be ETE’s second CD featuring music from Red Lake Nation. And, as music producer, it will mark Romero’s second recording featuring pow wow music. The first, a self-titled debut CD by the P-Town Boyz, was released in 2007. The P. Town Boyz, a group of young male singers from the Red Lake community of Ponemah, Minn., range in age from pre-teen to teenage. The P-Town Boyz are a popular draw at pow wows and other gatherings across Indian country.
The CD will be available online and at select retail outlets around the country. Eagle Thunder Entertainment’s other releases can also be purchased at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City and Washington, D.C., and at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M.