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Atsiaktonkie - Four Wolves Prophecy
Atsiaktonkie - Four Wolves Prophecy
CD Review by Jud Conway on 4/13/2009   

Atsiaktonkie (pronounced "ah-jeeak-doon-gee-ay"), a gifted singer/songwriter of Native American (Mohawk) descent, has spent the last decade building a strong following through live solo appearances and as a member of the Alternative Folk Rock Band December Wind. In the process, he has written over 1,500 songs and has been nominated for two Native Music Awards. With the release of Four Wolves Prophecy, Atsiaktonkie offers up fourteen nuanced observations of life in the Akwesasne Territory bordering New York and Canada.

On the opening song "NDN Man," Atsiaktonkie sings of the "Indian Man doin’ what he can" to survive in modern America. The grungy, distorted guitar tones are reminiscent of nineties-era R.E.M. The track’s vocal and musical layerings convey the narrator’s sense of vulnerability and fatigue. "Fly with Me," fuses traditional Native American chanting with a catchy jangle rock melody to mesmerizing effect. "Race around the Railroad" ups the ante with a hard-rocking edge. "Born on a Rezervation" pokes fun at Native American stereotypes, while "Last Tribal Nation" closes the album with a reverent nod to Native American culture.

Atsiaktonkie’s blend of strong musicianship, pointed lyrics, and crisp production has not been lost on his musical peers. Neil Young recently sent the Native American recording artist an original song for consideration called "The Treaty." The modest recipient says he’s simply "excited to hear what Neil… thinks once it’s finished."

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