John Trudell - an American Indian singer-songwriter and poet
John Trudell is a poet at heart
John Trudell was not a singer-songwriter in the usual sense of the term because he was first and foremost a poet. To his words are added the music to form his songs.
John wrote powerful reflections on how he saw the world incorporating a Native American viewpoint into his lyrics. John Trudell's father was a member of the Santee Sioux tribe.
But John Trudell was far more than a poet because he was also an actor and an activist within the American Indian Movement (AIM).
Buy John Trudell words and music on Amazon
John Trudell's Crazy Horse (Original Video)
More about John Trudell
John Trudell was born in 1946 in Omaha, Nebraska. He had a varied life and experiences, including some very traumatic times, and he drew upon his past to inspire his writings. He was in the American Armed forces for a period of four years and served in Vietnam.
Afterwards he became a front-line political activist from 1969 onward. That same year he was a spokesman for the Indians of All Tribes and represented them for their occupation of Alcatraz Island. Trudell was also the Chairman of the American Indian Movement from 1972 to 1979.
In 1979, John Trudell suffered a massive personal tragedy in his life with the death of his pregnant wife, mother-in-law and three children in a fire at their home. To help him get over his grief he found therapy in writing as a poet.
In 1979, John Trudell met with singer-song-writer star Jackson Browne and this led to him becoming interested in getting involved in the world of music himself.
In 1983 John Trudell released his début cassette album on his own label Peace Company. The album was entitled Tribal Voice .
He wrote lyrics for another album with musical accompaniment by guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. This album, entitled AKA Graffiti Man , and released first in 1986 on cassette on Peace Company too, was remastered for re-release in 1992 on CD on the Rykodisc Records label.
In 1986, the album AKA Graffiti Man had attracted both the attention and some very high praise from Bob Dylan - he actually told Rolling Stone magazine that in his opinion it was the album of the year.
John Trudell's 'songs' mix his spoken word poetry with a blend of Native American music as well as blues and modern rock.
John Trudell has released several other albums including Blue Indians, in 1999, and Bone Days in 2001, which was produced and sponsored by actress Anjelina Jolie.
A very powerful track from this latter album is entitled Crazy Horse . It is a tribute to the famous American Indian leader but looking at the world as it is now and in relation to the past.
In Crazy Horse, John Trudell asks: "One does not sell the earth that people walk upon - we are the land? How do we sell our mother? How do we sell the stars? How do we sell the air?"
John Trudell also established himself as an actor, appearing in the films Thunderheart (1992), On Deadly Ground (1995) and Smoke Signals (1998). He was an adviser in the making of Incident at Oglala , which was directed by Michael Apted and produced by actor and director Robert Redford.
Heather Rae spent over 10 years making a film about John Trudell, which was entitled simply Trudell and was released in 2005. The film was given its première the same year at the Sundance Film Festival.
John Trudell died from cancer at his home in Santa Clara County in California on 8 December, 2015. He was 69.
John Trudell " Religious vs Spiritual" Perception of Reality
John Trudell links
- John Trudell
- John Trudell on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads
MySpace Music profile for John Trudell. Download John Trudell Alternative / Rock / Blues music singles, watch music videos, listen to free streaming mp3s, & read John Trudell's blog.
- John Trudell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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© 2010 Steve Andrews