Robbie Robertson is best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter of The Band and, since their breakup, a series of solo projects and soundtrack projects. Little mentioned until recently was his own Native American heritage. His mother's family is Mohawk, a member of the Six Nations. In recent years his projects have emphasized his own roots. In 1994 he did the soundtrack for the cable TV documentary The Native Americans, which became his next album, Music from The Native Americans and featuring his new band Red Road Ensemble. In 1998, he released his latest album Contact From The Underworld Of Red Boy. DJ/producer Howie B. is present on this album and the sound is a sonic mix with influences that are as much rock and techno as Native American. The album also shows his own search for inspiration in traditional recordings such as the 1942 Library of Congress recording of Leah Hicks-Manning's vocals sampled for the opening track, "The Sound Is Fading," and his experiences of attending ritual Native American ceremonies. A 1998 PBS documentary Making A Noise: A Native American Journey with Robbie Robertson centered on his visit to the Six Nations Reservation in Ontario, Canada where he had spent childhood summers.
Back to Artists