Perhaps the most well-known Indigenous singer-songwriter of the 1960s folk music boom, Canadian-born Piapot Cree artist Buffy Sainte-Marie continues performing with undiminished energy, humor, and voice well into her 70s. She did just that this evening at Albuquerque’s beautiful KiMo Theater for AMP Concerts.
Sainte-Marie holds a Doctorate in Fine Arts and is an international spokesperson for indigenous rights, but during this show it was her deep knowledge of how to engage and captivate an audience that was on display. She took us on a tour of her decades-long career, treating us to powerful solo renditions of her anti-war classic “Universal Soldier,” as well as her much-covered pop hit, “Up Where We Belong.” She launched into searing rock renditions — backed by her five-piece band — of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” “Country Girl,” “Little Wheel Spin and Spin,” and “Star Walker.” She also introduced “Farm in the Middle of Nowhere” and other songs from her just-released album, Power in the Blood.
Dressed in a sharply form-fitting black outfit, laughing often, with long hair flying free, Buffy Ste. Marie gave us fire and joy and a truly fine concert. Long may she run!