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Running for the Drum

Buffy Sainte-Marie

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iTunes Review

A less than prolific Native-American musical legend, Buffy Sainte-Marie released her first album in 17 years with Running for the Drum. Her sound is hardly predictable, employing grandiose, anthemic rhythm sections (“No No Keshagesh”) and her own aggressive avant-garde vocal touches (“Cho Cho Fire”) to bring her world of conscience to life, as well as the gentler strokes of sublime folk music she once used to spread her message of peace and equality. “Working for the Government” channels her “protest” fire, while “America the Beautiful” brings her closer to pastoral closure. “Blue Sunday” hunts down Elvis Presley. “Little Wheel Spin and Spin” similarly recalls the rockabilly spirit with its haunted vocal echo. “When I Had You,” “Still This Love Goes On,” and “Easy Like the Snow Falls Down” catch Sainte-Marie in tender moments and moody ambience. Taj Mahal joins on piano for the New Orleans- inspired “I Bet My Heart On You.” Nothing here explains the long gaps between albums — her voice is in fine form — but it’s a welcome return nonetheless.

Customer Reviews

A Native American Treasure

Waiting for a new Buffy album takes a lot of patience. She records when she feels like it, and when she’s garnered enough material to fill an album. Running for the Drum was worth the wait. It is not a typical “theme” album. It’s more like a variety show: there’s something here for everyone. You’ve got the turned-up rockers, replete with native American chanting, you’ve got beautiful ballads, and a bit of New Orleans honky tonk, and a reworking of an earlier composition: “Little Wheel Spin and Spin.” Buffy is a Native American treasure, and it’s time she got the recognition she so deserves. She has never sought star status or played by “the rules.” I admire her for that. She is devoted to her Native American culture (her Cradleboard project) and when she releases an album, her devotion to her art is evident. Do yourselves a favor and buy this cd. It’s one of those that can easily become addictive. And…. if you get a chance to see Buffy perform, run don’t walk to buy tickets. She’ll blow you away.

Running For The Drum

Much thanks to WNCW, the Public Broadcasting station out of Western North Carolina 88.7 over the internet, for turing me back on to Buffy Saint-Marie! This is a great work of art with a lot of variation that should please anyone who enjoys folk, blues and folk-rock. She's as relevant and beautiful as she was in the 60's when I first heard her. I suggest researching her a bit if you don't know her story. She's the most interesting person I've read about in a long time.

Worth The Wait!

There is something for everyone on this album! She's still got it! Voice is in perfect form, songs are amazing as ever! So glad I got it!


Born: February 20, 1941 in Piapot Reserve, Saskatchewan, Can

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Buffy Sainte-Marie has enjoyed a long career that has seen her rise to stardom on the folk circuit and try her hand at country, rock, soundtrack themes, acting, activism, and children's television. For most listeners, she remains identified with the material she wrote and sang for Vanguard in the mid-'60s. Her songs that addressed the plight of the Native American, particularly "Now That the Buffalo's Gone" and "My Country 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying," were the ones that generated the most controversy....
Full Bio

Customer Ratings



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