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Album Review

Familial vocal trio Walela's self-titled debut album is also their finest to date, an amalgamation of Native American roots music (specifically Cherokee), singer/songwriter folk, pop, and Southern gospel that's also not unappealing to new age sensibilities. Although the music is deeply rooted in tradition, its hybrid uniqueness gives it a contemporary, even forward-looking feel. The angelic three-part harmonies of Rita Coolidge, sister Priscilla, and niece Laura Satterfield breathe exquisite life into these songs, which are already strong to begin with; the results constitute one of the best issues of contemporary Native American music in some time.


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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Walela, Walela
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