Native Talent

Indigenous Americans blow blues-rock smoke

Audiences and other musicians started to notice the CDs and the band's incendiary live shows. Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne both became fans. The Indigo Girls had the band contribute to its 1996 Honor the Earth CD, which benefited Native American and environmental causes. Indigenous recorded an early version of "Things We Do" for that album at Pachyderm Studio near Minneapolis.

This was its lucky break. The owners of the studio, Mason Munoz and Jim Nickels, were looking to start a record label, and when they saw Indigenous, they knew they had found their flagship act.

Soon a deal was struck and the group members were back at Pachyderm Studio, laying down tracks for Things We Do. For a band used to recording on pocket change, the chance to work in a first-class facility like Pachyderm, where bands such as Soul Asylum, Nirvana and Toad the Wet Sprocket have recorded, was a significant benefit, as was the more flexible recording schedule.

Led by guitar virtuoso Mato Nanji, Indigenous is a family affair.
Led by guitar virtuoso Mato Nanji, Indigenous is a family affair.

"It just gave us a little more time to, like if we heard something we didn't like, we'd go back and redo it," Nanji says. "In the other studios we didn't really have that much time. We'd go out on tour and then we'd do a song, come back and do a song, kind of like that. That's kind of how this record got put together, but then we still took a little more time to get it done."

The extra work has paid off.

Indigenous performs Thursday, September 30, at the Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Freeway. Call (713)988-1020 for more information.

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