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The Best of Walela

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Album Review

Walela are made up of Rita Coolidge and her sister Priscilla Coolidge plus Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield, and when the three sing together, what emerges is a soothing, ethereal sound that fits perfectly with the sort of Native American new age gospel direction the trio favors. This set is drawn from Walela's two albums for Triloka Records, 1997's self-titled Walela and 2000's Unbearable Love, but given the overall similarity of the two records, this sequence feels pretty seamless, full of atmospherics (so atmospheric that some cuts seem to vanish into vapor) and at times almost rhythm-less backing tracks over which the trio's harmonies float like so much light smoke. This stuff is an acquired taste, truthfully, but there is no denying that songs like "Cherokee Morning Song" and "Wash Your Spirit Clean" have the kind of grace and conviction that make the heart swell.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Pop singer/songwriter Rita Coolidge began her career all the way back in the early '70s, but during the '90s, she returned to her Native American roots in the eclectic vocal trio Walela, which also featured her sister and longtime collaborator Priscilla Coolidge and Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield. Walela's music drew not only on the trio's Cherokee heritage, but also on the gospel sounds of the Deep South (the Coolidges' father was a Baptist minister), plus pop, country, folk, soul, and a...
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The Best of Walela, Walela
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