The Wire magazine
Illumnations: One the “100 Albums That Set the World on Fireâ€
Published online September 16, 2007
Buffy Sainte-Marie (CD review Vanguard Records)
Who is the only Native American/Canadian to win an Academy Award Oscar?
Buffy Sainte-Marie was an Indian before it became fashionable to be one and sang about Native issues when nobody else did. She also wrote and performed songs about the state of the world, and people’s sweetest emotions. This record serves to remind us all of her unique voice and unwavering strength of character.
But it’s not just vocally and lyrically that makes her so distinctive. Think about other single female folk acts that you know of from that era and what comes to mind? Simple melodies plucked out on a guitar and basic arrangements about as threatening as the flowers they wore in their hair. At the same time, Buffy was using electronics and overdubs to stretch and distort her voice in the harmonies on songs like God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot, and The Vampire in 1965!