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Leanne Goose: Getting and Giving Love on Stage 49 at Gathering of Nations

Leanne Goose, a First Nation musician from the Inuvik Northwest Territories of Canada, discusses her art and her journey to Albuquerque.

The Gathering of Nations Pow Wow is known for attracting thousands of Native dancers from all over the Americas. That's what garners all the media attention. But, it has also become known as one of the premiere show places for Native music talent, where many of today's hot Aboriginal artists play their hearts out on Stage 49. Leanne Goose (official site) was one such performer in 2015, and it wasn't her first time. "I was here in 2013. I'm fortunate to get to come back. I'm real happy to be out here playing for all the people. I'm real thankful that my music has allowed me to travel all far from home so that I could share it with you." Her set list included a mixture of new songs, along with some of her more well-known hits from her previous three albums. She smiles broadly as she describes her music as "country roots blues. There's a little bit of rock-charged guitar in there. And, we've got a funky bass. I just love having that big, full band sound. That's me, that's me." She took a short break from her alternate career as a physician recruiter to come to Albuquerque. "This is my tour, right here. I'm so excited that I get to play Stage 49. It's an amazing experience. I really feed off of the crowd. They give me their love. And, I'm able to give it back. I'm so honored that I get to write songs, and share those songs. People feel my stories."

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The singer/song-writer from the Inuvik Northwest Territories, Canada was pulling double duty as she was also tapped as one of the judges for the Miss Indian World Pageant. There were seven young women from Canada vying for this year's title. "I was so proud of them, that they came to represent our People. Being all far from home, and getting to compete in such a prestigious event. It was pretty inspiring for me. I was really happy, and proud, to see those girls up there, shining their lights."

Goose has a fairly busy schedule planned for the remainder of the year. "I've got Aboriginal Day Live coming up. That's going to be a nationally-televised concert on June 20 for the Solstice. And I'm currently writing and getting ready to record my fourth album. I have been dropping some tracks in the studio. We've got the start of the new babies." In true artist form, she writes and takes inspiration where it comes. "If I'm with a co-writer, sometimes we'll just shout out ideas, and see how they come together. Sometimes I hear somebody say something and it just sticks with me. I run into melodies all the time. Things people say... walking at the grocery store...just everyday life stuff. I've been playing music since I was 12 years old, with my father's band. It depends on what the song is about. Sometimes it's an emotion. Sometimes it's an experience. And, just letting that all come together and flow."

Leanne has a simple message for her fans and aspiring musicians: "Don't ever give up. Practice every day. Get out there and jam with people. Get out there and play, play, play as much as you can in front of a live audience. For me, growing up in the little, tiny town of Aklavik, having the opportunity to share my songs and travel the world is an amazing experience. One of my breaks was right here on this stage. When I was a little kid, I always dreamed of being able to come and play music. I wanted to be like Elvis. For me, I think my biggest break came about 10 years ago when I got hired for a music festival up in the Yukon. I held my own, and it's been history ever since."