What do Bikers and Native Americans have in common? At first look you could think: opposite ends of a spectrum. Up close you find out some Bikers are Native Americans, and vice versa. Even closer you find out some Bikers and Indians also serve, and have served, next to each other in peacetime and combat. Zooming in you find out that 22 percent of Native Americans 18 years or older are veterans, the highest per capita representative of any ethnic group in the Services.
Last Saturday, May 11th, 2013, in Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park, Bikers, Native Americans, Veterans, Friends, people from far, people close, vendors and producers, all took a risk on the elements undercover in the Park’s 32 x 130 foot pavilion-transformed-to- concert-venue. In the spirit of Woodstock, where rain stopped nothing, the brave stuck it out through a Scottish mist that went to rain to clearing, to come out the other side unscathed and ecstatic having experienced a bunch of firsts:
*The first Nimham Mountain Music Festival produced by H. G. Fairfield Arts to benefit two Mid-Hudson Valley veteran projects – the 13th Annual Chief Daniel Nimham Intertribal Veterans Memorial PowWow this August 17 & 18, 2013 and the U. S. Military Veterans Motorcycle Club NY4’s documentary aimed at curbing veteran suicides, “Bomber, PJ, & Beartracks.”
The first time Kent, NY’s Nimham Mountain Singers have opened for a music festival and the first time a dog has sung a traditional song moving the crowd to tears.
The first time Bethany Yarrow, Rufus Cappadocia, and Brahim Fribgane have played for Bikers, Native Americans, and Veterans together; the first time the Bikers, Native Americans, and Veterans have heard anything like what shook them up onto their feet with standing ovations for Bethany’s powerful vocals and messages, Rufus’ uncharted over-the-top cello turned percussion instrument, and Brahim’s mystical/magical rhythms hand-pounded off a box (a cajón from Peru).
The first time a clapping, dancing crowd of weathered enthusiasts would hear Martha Redbone exclaim to those cheering their voices hoarse, “Who knew Bikers would like me [& Martha Redbone Roots Project]?”; as she leapt into another song, fiddle blazing, bass viola thrumming, Teddy’s banjo picking, and a drummer named Butter laying it all down. The crowd stomped for more as Martha Redbone gladly sang them into another frenzy.
The first time the unadulterated unabashedly full-out rock’n’roll band Iron Cobra followed native traditional singers, a musical legend’s daughter’s world changing music, and a fiddling Appalachian string band led by a Shawnee/Chocktaw/African American woman who’s sung for US Presidential Inaugural Balls; and it all seemed quite a natural progression of themes and music, oddly and surprisingly enough for all present.
Bikers, Native Americans, Veterans, Friends, people from far, people close, vendors and producers, at H. G. Fairfield Arts’ first Nimham Mountain Music Festival know once the word gets out of just what kind of music and spirit was present in the gorgeous Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park this past Saturday, even more people next year will get to have the same chance to experience their own firsts.
For more information, contact Kim Blacklock at (845) 363-1559 or e-mail:
Folk/blues duo Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia perform with Moroccan percussionist Brahim Fribgane (left) at the Nimham Mountain Music Festival in Putnam County, NY.
The Nimham Mountain Singers, hosts of the annual Nimham PowWow and opening the Nimham Mountain Music Festival, singing the Red Hawk Drum’s flag song to honor the US flag, accompanied by their dog Cheyenne.