WHITE SWAN, Wash. ? Jim Weasel Tail would be proud of his grandchildren, whose pow wow recordings are nearly as numerous as the Scabby Robe family itself. Black Lodge's 21st release with Canyon Records, "Weasel Tail's Dream," (2001), is a tribute to their grandfather whose greatest wish was to see his family sing and share their traditional respect for the spirit of the drum.
The Black Lodge Singers consist of Kenny Scabby Robe and eight of his 12 sons, Algin, Emerson, John, Erwin, Myron, Shawn, Matthew and Solomon. Let us not overlook Clint Croff, Blackfeet, Freddie Ike Jr., Rock Creek, Tara Montgomery, Blackfeet, Candie Chief, Cree, Louise Scabby Robe, Blackfeet, Tracy Scabby Robe, Cree, and Ramona Scabby Robe, Blackfeet.
"Weasel Tail's Dream" contains 13 tracks of original pow wow songs in the Blackfeet language. All were written by John Scabby Robe except for "Straight" by Shawn Scabby Robe.
The Black Lodge Singers are a Northern-style drum group. With over 20 CDs in print, they are arguably the best-known drum group of all time. They are widely sought after to be host drum, and their yearly itinerary reads like a "who's who" of pow wow events.
The name "Black Lodge" was given to Kenny Scabby Robe by the aging members of the Black Lodge warrior society on the Blackfeet Reservation near Browning, Mont. The Black Lodge Society was noted for its black or black and white tipis, which were set up away from the main camp. Kenny insists that his group conduct themselves in a good traditional way and always maintain strict etiquette while seated at the drum out of respect for such an honor.
"Weasel Tail's Dream" was nominated at the Fifth Annual Native American Music Awards for best pow wow recording. "It's Been a Long Time Coming," also released in 2001, earned a Nammy nomination for duo/group of the year ? a category the group won in 1998 with "People's Dance."
"Kid's Pow Wow Songs" (1996) is perhaps their most unique ? if not award-winning ? album. It features songs like "Mighty Mouse," "The Flintstones" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." It was created in hopes of stimulating children's interest in Native American culture.
The group earned a Grammy nomination in the Native American Music category for "Tribute to the Elders" in 1999. Its diverse resume also includes performances for the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.
To learn more about this fascinating family visit www.canyonrecords.com, call (800) 268-1141 or write to Canyon Records, 3131 West Clarendon Ave., Phoenix, Ariz. 85017.