Sunday, June 28, 2009

In review--Shimmering Hummingbird Songs

Louie Gonnie with Branson Emerson
Rhythms Within a Turquoise Dream
Peyote Songs of the Native American Church
Canyon Records

Rhythms Within a Turquoise Dream is the third CD by Louie Gonnie that I have heard and reviewed. I feel that Gonnie possesses some wonderful spiritual and musical gifts to share with the rest of us, and on his latest recording, he shares uplifting emotions from one of his dreams. He wrote in the liner notes, "The idea for this album came from a dream I had. I wanted to convey that dream through these songs. The dream made me feel good and that is why I made this recording."

Gonnie, a Zuni-Dine tribal member and traditional musician grabs his inspiration from the natural world that surrounds him. On previous albums, mountains in four directions, and other natural elements inspired him. The peyote songs that appear here sport titles such as, Hopes and Dreams, Humming bird's Gift (I saw my first hummingbird of the year two days ago), and Turquoise Dream to name three. The songs possess a shimmering, dazzling quality that I have not heard in a peyote song prior. The traditional rattle, water drum and harmonized vocals take on some new elements such as Native American flute and whistles. The results are soothing and uplifting. In fact, this music feels healing and powerful to me. The birds outside seemed to enjoy it as well, which is a good thing since in a weeks time, the poor birds will have to deal with fireworks and firecrackers (not exactly peaceful).

I would also like to add that traditional Native American musicians often learn their chants, drumming and songwriting early in life through an oral tradition. They learn how to perform this music, especially prayer chants and peyote songs through elders, often their own parents or grandparents. It takes years of learning and dedication as well as, healing intent and integrity to reach the level of a musician like Louie Gonnie. Therefore when you listen to music from Native American or any tradition, please bring along your own integrity and respect. You will find by doing that, you will reap the healing powers of the music.

This is the type of recording that you play for yourself, your friends, the earth and all of its creatures. And if you would like to learn more about Louie Gonnie, his recordings, and his philosophies, go to and check out the I-Pod interviews. You can also visit

canyon records

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