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'Mother Earth' by Corn-Bred

CANASTOTA, N.Y. - After several years of playing cover songs for local audiences, the all-American-Indian rhythm and blues band Corn-Bred released their first original album, ''Mother Earth.''

Corn-Bred began as a local band on the Onondaga Nation in central New York, south of Syracuse. At first they played for family and friends, but as more people heard their unique blend of rhythm and blues, rock and traditional American Indian music, their popularity grew.

''Each of the band's five members wrote on the album,'' said Jerome Lazore, lead singer. ''The songs represent each of us and living on the nation.''

Four of Corn-Bred's members are from the Onondaga Nation, including Lazore, who also plays rhythm guitar. The others are Curtis Waterman, who plays the harmonica and lends his vocals to several of the songs on the album; John ''J.B.'' Buck, who also sings on the record and plays bass guitar; and Lenny Printup on drums. The band's fifth and newest member is lead guitarist Morris Tarbell, Mohawk from Akwesasne. His addition to the band completed a group that has received acclaim throughout Haudenosaunee country.

The album offers an array of music from blues to rock and traditional Native sounds. The song ''Mother Earth'' begins with Waterman on the Native flute.

''This song is a crowd favorite,'' Lazore said. ''Curtis on the Native flute is incredible.''

Inspiration for many of the songs on the album comes from the Onondaga Nation itself, including ''The Dam Song,'' written by Waterman. The song details a notorious hangout location on the nation territory.

Corn-Bred, which had a strong American Indian following before its first gig in central New York, still plays at small local bars and private parties but has expanded its audience to form a national fan base.

The group played at the opening of Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., in September 2004. And they were invited to return to Washington in 2005 to play for nearly 2,000 Americans Indians from across the country at the American Indian Inaugural Ball for President George W. Bush.

''Mother Earth'' introduces the listener to the core of Corn-Bred's foundation. Their music is a blend of Trabell's bluesy guitar, Waterman's unique harmonica wails, Buck's diverse base guitar and Printup's talented drumming. Lazore and his band mates share the vocals on the album. Each member offers a diverse voice, but together the band harmonizes to create a unique sound that is the essence of the band's recent success.

With the recent release of ''Mother Earth,'' the band continues to tour around New York state and beyond. Lazore said he hopes their American Indian fan base grows throughout Indian country.

To learn more about Corn-Bred or to purchase ''Mother Earth,'' visit www.cornbred.com.