Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Elisapie - Wolves Don't Live by the Rules (Willie Thrasher)
The Light in the Attic re-release of Inuvialuit singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher's Spirit Child album (originally issued by the CBC in 1981), along with the Grammy-nominated Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1984 compilation from 2014 has seen Willie's music reach a new global audience. The expanded awareness has lead to concerts all over Turtle Island for the veteran performer, who currently sings with his partner Linda Saddleback and is writing some the best songs of his life, like the soon to be released "The Sacred Fire Of Peace."
Producing these reissue projects and working directly with Willie has been such a gift and for that I give thanks. There have been so many incredible moments along the way, but hearing from various First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples about their experiences with these powerful songs, as well as from the artists themselves, has been the most meaningful, especially as a person of settler heritage. Willie's music, and that of his peers like the late great Willie Dunn and the Sikumiut band, were embraced and celebrated by Indigenous peoples across the land during their time of release and continue to hold a precious place for those lucky enough to have heard them. They have the potential to create community and change lives through positive connection.
One person who was blessed to be raised with Spirit Child from an early age was Inuk folk-pop singer and songwriter Elisapie Isaac from Salluit, Nunavik, who performs under the name Elisapie and is related to the Sugluk band's George Kakayuk (also featured on Native North America). It was so exciting to hear Elisapie speak of her interaction with Willie Thrasher's music growing up in a northern community and what it meant to her personally. Going one step beyond in her inspiration, Elisapie recorded two of Willie's songs for her most recent project. Generations, (northern) cultures, and eras of technology coming together. Today, Elisapie's interpretation of "Wolves Don't Live by the Rules" (Featuring Joe Grass) has been released into the world. If you're not in the loop, now is the time!!!
And don't forget to spread the word... PEACE