Personnel: Joanne Shenandoah (vocals, background vocals); Paul Angerosa, Spider (guitar); Erik Hokkanen (violin, background vocals); David Amram (flute, background vocals); The Black Lodge Singers (background vocals).
Recording information: Acrok Recording Studio, Utica, NY.
"Mother Earth Speaks," the opening track of Joanne Shenandoah's ONCE IN A RED MOON gives voice to the anguish and pain of our deeply abused planet, and is a powerful indication of the album's thematic weight. In "You Can Hear Them Dancing" and "Spirit Lingers On," Shenandoah evokes the ghostly soul of vanished Native Americans, and the latter song crests with Shenandoah's repeated chorus, a simple, plaintive, "Why?" Yet the album's closer, "America," provides a message of resounding hope, optimism, peace, and patriotism. Such conceptual complexities are par for the course for this talented multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and Native American activist, and ONCE IN A RED MOON is an excellent example of the artist's politically motivated work. That Shenandoah has a clear, resonant alto voice sweet enough to break any listener's heart is a wonderful, added bonus.