Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

Poster image of RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The contributions of Native Americans in modern music (from Link Wray to Robbie Robertson, Charley Patton to Buffy Sainte-Marie) got a much-deserved showcase at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) premiere of Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World. A celebratory documentary uncovering the indigenous influence on American music history, Rumble was received by an energetic crowd at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on Friday, May 16.

“First off, let us recognize we are on the land of indigenous peoples, the Coast Salish people,” stated Tracy Rector (Seminole/Choctaw), SIFF Program Director and Native activist as she introduced the film. “Tonight is a celebration of indigenous art, indigenous musicians, and our community.”

From Charley Patton and Mildred Bailey to Link Wray and Jimi Hendrix; from Jesse Ed Davis and Buffy-Sainte Marie to Robbie Robertson and Randy Castillo, the contributions of Native Americans to the soundtrack of popular culture music are as undeniable as they are underreported. The Indigenous influence spans nearly all the musical genres like blues, jazz, pop, rock and heavy metal.

In the celebratory exposé Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, director Catherine Bainbridge takes us through a rollercoaster of fantastic music and wide-ranging interviews – Martin Scorsese and Taj Mahal rub shoulders with Pat Vegas and late poet John Trudell – while never losing sight of the politically precarious place indigenous persons hold in America’s troubled history, a history in which Native culture has been systematically silenced.

“There was this key express: be proud you’re an Indian, but be careful who you tell,” says Robertson (Mohawk), best known for his work as lead guitarist for The Band, recounting advice he once received. Loud, lively, and endlessly illuminating, Rumble is as powerful as the 1958 Link Wray song it’s named after, one of the rare instrumental tracks banned from radio airwaves since it supposedly “glorified juvenile delinquency.”*

Film producers Lisa Roth and Ernest Webb attend the SIFF premier of their documentary Rumble.

“People don’t understand nor realize that there was a Native contribution and influence, an intermingling of cultures from so long that helped shape the early sounds of many musical genres,” says Producer Lisa Roth on the film’s vision to entertain while educating the public. “This isn’t commonly known because at the time [the U.S. government] was attempting to erase Native culture, essentially. We know this is a lot of information to take in and absorb. I’ve been approached by many Native people after viewing the film who tell me, ‘I learned something that I should have known and I didn’t. Thank you for that.’”

“We don’t want to take anything away from anybody, it’s just that we want to add to the story. We want the contributions of Native musicians and artists who helped shape music recognized in the history,” adds Executive Producer Ernest Webb (Cree). “Just because we hid, they thought we had disappeared. A lot of our people and culture was forced to go underground in order to survive. Presently, a lot of our ceremonies and traditional ways are coming back.

We’re in a new age, especially with successful music groups like A Tribe Called Red. We don’t need to hide who we are anymore. With the new and young generation coming up I’m hopeful our culture will continue to grow and thrive on the foundation our ancestors provided.”

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World will be wide-released to select theaters in the Seattle area later this Summer.

To view the Rumble trailer you can visit

*Source: Rumble press material provided by Seattle International Film Festival

Up Where She Belongs: Buffy Sainte-Marie Making First Album in 6 Years


Christie Goodwin'I don't think about calendars, deadlines or styles,' says Sainte-Marie. 'I just play and sing whatever I dream up.'
Christie Goodwin
‘I don’t think about calendars, deadlines or styles,’ says Sainte-Marie. ‘I just play and sing whatever I dream up.’


Canadian-born Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is a living legend, famous for such Indigenous anthems as “Universal Soldier” and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” But few know that Sainte-Marie led the earliest charge into electronic music at the same time she was being celebrated worldwide as a “folk” artist. She’s now preparing to make her first album since the award-winning 2008 relase Running For the Drum. Speaking from her current home in Hawaii, Sainte-Marie gave ICTMN the lowdown on the directon she’ll be heading with her new music. This is the second of a three-part series; for the first, which focused on her thoughts about the environment, see Buffy Sainte-Marie on Tar Sands: “You’ve Got to Take This Seriously”.Do you know when your new album is due to come out? Is there a title?We haven’t decided. I just spent three weeks out on the road in Nashville, Toronto and L.A. auditioning producers, so I have not yet made my choices. I don’t know if I’ll work with several producers or just one. But I’m sure excited about the music. We’re choosing from about 30 different songs. It’s going to be fun. It’ll be done when it’s done!


Your last album, of course, got a Juno as well as an Aboriginal People’s Choice Award (and around that time you were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Fame) — in many ways, it was a departure from your other work in the immediacy of it.You think so? The songs, as always, were very diverse. I wasn’t worried about trying to make them all the same. Some of those songs I had in the can for a long time, and some were things I’d written over the years. I’d take something I’d written in my notebook in 1970 and I’ll add a second verse in 1980 and I’ll finish it last week. That’s always how it is for me – I have a kind of helicopter vision of life itself. I don’t think about calendars, deadlines or styles. I just play and sing whatever I dream up. Writing for me is just really, really natural. It’s the same as it was when I was a little kid. I hope I’m getting better though!

There’s an immediacy to your sound that really speaks to today. But you’ve always had that along the way. A lot of people were a little bit surprised hearing me with electronic sounds, but that’s because they maybe hadn’t heard about me for a while – so it might have been new to them, but it wasn’t new to me. In 1965, I made the first-ever electronic quadraphonic (four-channel) vocal album, Illuminations.

Is there anything about your new album people should look out for, in terms of style or subjects you’re addressing? Any surprises? It depends. Most people don’t listen to me, so they’re always surprised! (Laughs) Especially if they think I’m a folk singer. But people who have been listening all along will be surprised, because the whole world continues to grow. And that includes me and you. So it will be different. “The Uranium War” is one song, another is “Look at the Facts,” “Your Link with Life” is another. There’ll be some remixes… It’s a really interesting album. There’s some love songs on it, and some Aboriginal things, but mostly it’s just solid songs that are good to dance to or fun to listen to, or whatever.

One of your most famous songs, ‘Up Where We Belong,’ has really been turned into a love anthem. But it has such a special meaning for many Indigenous people, who can read it in a completely different way from non-Indigenous people. What are your thoughts on that? It’s a beautiful love song, but from the perspective of history suddenly it gives you a chill down your spine. I’m glad that it got to be the main theme for the film An Officer and a Gentleman, that’s about the military. Because sometimes people are surprised to see how many veterans come to my concerts, and to find out that soldiers in Vietnam were carving “Universal Soldier” into their bunk beds. If you think pacifists and military people hate each other, it’s not true. That’s just not accurate at all. The fact that “Up Where We Belong” – a love song that does have a real double-entendre meaning – was heard by so many people who don’t ordinarily come to hear me — how good is that? We always have to remain open to the fact that audiences are going to interpret your songs personally for themselves. I think that’s the true power of songs. It’s wonderful… Music has always been a powerful medium, and now with the Internet it can reach so many more people.

To keep up with Buffy Sainte-Marie, follow her on Twitter @buffystemarie and at


Darrington Day offers gateway to outdoors, history, music

Festival provides access to recreation, history and music

By Gale Fiege, the Herald

DARRINGTON — People headed out to the woods or the North Cascades for Memorial Day weekend are encouraged to stop by Darrington Day.

The free annual event celebrates the area’s history, culture and outdoor activities with live music, tours and exhibits. Darrington Day is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Make your first stop at the information booth in front of the Darrington IGA grocery store, 1090 Seeman St., just off Highway 530. There, you can pick up maps, schedules and information about hiking trails.

Ask about the opening of the Old Sauk Trail, which offers a 1.3-mile stroll on a wheelchair-accessible trail through the lush forest along the Sauk River. A ribbon-cutting for the new trail is set for 10 a.m. Another ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. celebrates the completion of a refurbished shed that protects five ancient Sauk-Suiattle dugout canoes. The shed is located across the highway from Forest Service’s Darrington Ranger District office, 1405 Emens Ave. N.

History is big in Darrington. People can take the self-guided history and trivia tour around town and see the Forest Fire Lookout display at the Cascade Senior Center, 1115 Darrington St. Watch a slideshow about the Green Mountain Forest Fire Lookout, which is 80 years old this summer. In addition, the Forest Fire Lookout Association plans to display models of lookouts throughout the country and be on hand to talk about restoring the nearby North Mountain Lookout.

Adventure Cascades, a new outdoors guide business along the highway, plans an open house at 1055 Seeman St. People can enter a raffle to win a rafting trip for two. Mountain Loop Books and Coffee, 1085 Darrington St., has author Eric Erickson scheduled until 2 p.m. to sign his book, “Mile Post, a History of the Arlington-Darrington Branch of The Northern Pacific Railway, 1899 to 2009.”

From noon to late in the afternoon, people can enjoy live music in Old School Park, 1026 Alvord St, while browsing booths with work by local artists. Whitehorse Musicians Guild and the Darrington Bluegrass Association offer traditional local bluegrass, and several folk, blues and classic rock bands are scheduled.

For more information go to

Summer concert series planned for Everett’s new downtown plaza

Jennifer Buchanan / The HeraldArtist Linda Beaumont is reflected in part of her mosaic installation at the new Wetmore Theater Plaza in downtown Everett.
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
Artist Linda Beaumont is reflected in part of her mosaic installation at the new Wetmore Theater Plaza in downtown Everett.

By Theresa Goffredo, The Herald

Wetmore Theater Plaza, the new community space in downtown Everett, is getting its first official event — a summer concert series.

The Sets in the West concerts kick off July 10 with 10 weeks of live music from some top shelf, emerging bands from Seattle, Bellingham and Everett.

The free shows start right after work at 5 p.m. There’s a wine and beer garden and food for anyone who wants to buy a drink or a snack.

Bands include Hot Bodies in Motion, a soul-bluesy band from Seattle, and River Giant, whose lead singer is from Lake Stevens and who play folk Americana stuff, which has been compared to Neil Young.

The city of Everett wanted to have a concert series at the plaza this summer but didn’t have the staff to devote to such an event. So the city asked the Everett Music Initiative to make the series happen.

The Everett Music Initiative started out in 2012 and has successfully brought new bands to downtown Everett. The group’s goal was to bring the local pool of musical talent here because music is a critical cultural element to a thriving downtown, said Ryan Crowther, founder of Everett Music Initiative.

The music initiative has partnered with Experience Everett, the city’s new tourism initiative, and together with support from the city’s cultural arts department, the experiment to bring new music to downtown Everett has been a success.

“They saw a need, took the initiative and brought some very new music to Everett and started gaining really good crowds,” said Carol Thomas, the city’s cultural arts manager. “We asked them to bring their talents to a concert series that would feature new and emerging artists, a genre they know and love.”

The city already sponsors Music at the Marina concert series that kicks off June 27 and those concerts start a little later Thursday evenings. But the new plaza concert series happens right after work for a more “appropriate urban feel so people can get off work and enjoy the music,” Thomas said.

The city also provides a children’s concert series Thursday mornings at Thornton A Sullivan Park at Silver Lake. which kicks off July 11.

In addition to the concert series, Village Theatre’s Kidstage program will be presenting six live theater performances at noon Fridays at the Wetmore Plaza. That series kicks off June 28 with “A Year with Frog and Toad.”

The plaza, situated between the Everett Performing Arts Center and Village Theatre’s Second Stage kids’ theater, can accommodate more than 400 people and, with a packed crowd, can give the downtown that kind of needed energy that comes from community events such as concerts and theater performances, Thomas said.

“The next step after making the plaza is activating it,” Thomas said. “And we are working hard for that.”

The plaza isn’t officially complete. Whidbey Island artist Linda Beaumont continues work on the undulating mosaic wall that anchors the plaza and frames the area into a seated amphitheater.

Beaumont is expected to be working on that mosaic into next year. The piece is handmade and completely original, Thomas said.

“Art takes time,” Thomas said.

But the public doesn’t have to wait to use the plaza. In fact, the city wants people to use the plaza now. And the concert series is a good starting point, said Steve Graham, a member of Everett Music Initiative.

“This is going to be a great chance to showcase some great music, how beautiful downtown Everett and our new Wetmore Plaza (are),” Graham said.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;

New series

The new Sets in the West series kicks off July 10 and runs through Sept. 11 at Wetmore Theatre Plaza, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. For a complete schedule of bands, go to