Thursday, April 5, 2012

In review--Pathways and Odesseys

Louie Gonnie
Pathway to Destiny
Songs of Healing and Contemplation
Canyon Records

Native American traditional singer Louie Gonnie’s latest CD Pathway to Destiny begs to be listened to outdoors and near a body of water.  My intuition told met to take my portable player to the park and listen to Gonnie’s harmonized songs near the bay.  While I have not done this yet, I recommend this practice for anyone listening to this recording.  I tried to listen to the recording on my computer and it just didn’t make sense, given the titles and intent of the 14 prayer songs.  No, this recording begs for an outdoor listening experience.

Gonnie pays homage to the natural world and the spirits that reside in this world.  He sings in a voice that ranges from bass to high baritone, while harmonizing with his own vocals.  If you listen to the recording through headphones, the reverb behind the vocals might conjure someone singing in a deep cave.  Personally, I envisioned Gonnie singing in the canyons of Arizona from where this recording hails.  I have listened to several of Gonnie’s recordings over the years, and I respect the integrity and love the musician brings to each recording.  On one recording, he sang about four mountains from the four directions, in other recordings he also connected deeply to the natural world with reverence.

My favorite track on the recording is the closing spoken word piece, Swirling Smoke which features Anthony Wakeman on Native American flute and the vocal trio Alex  E. Smith, Cheevers Toppah and Nitanis Largo.  But pick any song on the recording for your walk with nature and you’ll feel the peace that Gonnie’s recording radiates. 

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