No announcement yet.

Recording at Powwows

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Recording at Powwows

    I am a dedicated singer in a drum group. But just love to check-out and record other drum groups at other powwows. I get tired of all of the heat when I break out my Sony Mini-disc recorder with my Peavy mic. What do you all think about powwows, recording, and the music biz?

  • #2
    I got a SONY MD too!!! Stereo mic ta boot. Sounds great, dont it?

    There is a difference in recording songs so you can learn them or listen to them, just dont try and mass produce cd's.
    The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.


    • #3
      I take it they gave you a hard time at Gathering about this....I have heard that they were strict about that last year and even more this year....personally I think it should be up to the drum you are recording....ask them if you can record their songs and then if they say yes, by all means go right ahead.....I have recorded songs both northern and southern but not at big powwows so I haven't gotten any lip for it. Just my two cents.

      Hope to see you this weekend at Lumbee...



      • #4
        My drum group was at Gatherings this year and they were pretty strict about recorders'. I don't know if that had to do with floor space or song rights or what. I personally find it a compliment when people want to record the songs we sing. It tells me that the songs are listened to and appreciated. So I say if the arena director isn't a hard-***, record away.
        I still have a cheesy tape recorder.
        Lemme borrow your recorder................


        • #5
          Sorry guys I was taught to ask before recording. Bye the way I have never been


          • #6
            Who do you sing with, Just curious.


            • #7
              Hey guys!

              Didn't go to Gathering this year, but I am assuming that if they were sensitive to this, it was because of all the controversy from the Grammy's. Very touchy subject with them right now.

              Now that Native music has been noticed on an international mainstream, people, especially at larger pow-wows like Gathering, are going to be much more careful over recordings, as well as drum groups wanting to be sure that if their music is recorded, that they have asked permission.

              For those of you who did not notice all the hoopla, Tom Bee won a grammy for his recording from Gathering last year. His record sales sky rocketed, from not only this year, but from previous years. Notice I said "his". All the drum groups that's music was used all this time, according to them, never got compensated for him recording them, even tho it was recorded at Gathering. And this has happened for a number of years.

              Now, I know that you sing for the love and money is not important when you sing for your people and yada ya, but.....when someone else is making loads of money off of your voice that you sing for the love of your people, there tends to be diff issues that come into play.

              So, just wanted to offer...more like my .10 cents worth. You may now continue. ;)
              Everything is gonna be alright!

              Be blessed - got love???

              This b me.....



              • #8
                I have to agree with Chocolate about the compliment part of being recorded. As far as Gathering, I feel that it is more of a space issue than anything, although I would have to agree that the money part of it must be big. Especially when you consider the national and international sales they receive from their powwow recordings. I just don't want us to get into the economic celebrity status that has corrupted the rest of the music biz. I would just love to remain traditional with a connection between the singers, dancers and those listening. But as the saying goes, more money...more problems. I love to record and just love powwow music. I believe the powwow committees need to realize that although most of the singers are not major "celebrities" they are popular and are sometimes rarely seen. Powwow people go nuts over Blackstone, Bear Creek, Battle River, Eyabay...


                • #9
                  Hello I just want to put in my two cents worth...I have been taught by my brothers, cousins, and uncles that the drum and the songs are to be respected...and if I want to record I ask the drum first if I can record, than if I can I offer them something in return for the privelage of recording them..I am sure they all appreciate a cup of coffee or some water...even a little tobacco. Anyway I believe if you want to record...ask the drum is their song, their music..their heart...
                  Remember who you are and where you came from....see you on the red road.


                  • #10
                    When most drums go to powwows, and they are a descent group, they expect to have people come and record them. It's almost a given with the top notch groups even if they only bring about 6 guys from a 13 man crew. The groups that have tapes out have already sold the rights to their songs, so song rights are NOT an issue here.

                    Most groups do like it when people record them because I think it gives them some kind of incentive to sound even better for the dancers, and the recorders as well.

                    So record on, but if you think it's appropriate to ask first, then do it up!

                    Aho! ;)


                    • #11
                      Being a pow wow singer I dont mind recorders coming around the drum to record our music. I feed off of having recorders around the drum, especially at a drum contest. You know the recorders like our music and it just gives me that extra energy to sing hard and perform to my best. Recorders are an essential part at a drum contest pow wow in deciding who the best singing drum group is. Its kinda dumb though to think that these recorders by our tapes but still come around the drum to record. So..I dont mind them at all. Let em record, cuz thats what I do to at pow wows. :) ;)


                      • #12
                        As a person who represents a Pow Wow drum. While it is an honour to be recorded, such recordings should be only of personal use to the recorder.

                        The problem here is there are no legal precedents set. Native music is set to go mainstream. Recordings such as the GON which win awards and make a ton of money will open the eyes of many top Pow Wow drums. Certainly the eyes of those drums who were recorded (the drums who were present at this year's Gathering did receive a share in the grammy). If I was them and I received no compensation, I would be more than just a little angry. Obviously, there will be some legal precedents set in the near future.

                        What that means is that it will be harder to record your favourite drums live. While it is good for the drum to have average Joe record them and enjoy their music privately, it is not good at all for someone other than the drum to profit from it. As an average Joe who also likes to record live, I think it would be in our best interests to speak out against those who would profit at the expense of the drum.

                        Someone also said that the drums sell their songs to recording companies anyway. A lot of drums are now recording on their own labels. The one that comes to mind is Blackstone which records with Randy Records (I think). For those who don't know, Randy Paskemin is the co-lead singer of Blackstone.

                        My brothers drum, White Horse, has also recorded independantly and therefore own their songs. Additionly, the 3 songs which we recorded which belong to other songmakers still belong to them.

                        Finally, I would like to invite you all to our website at:

                        On our website we have made high quality MP3s available for download. While we don't mind if someone makes a single copy for themselves, expect some legal troubles if someone distributes our copyrighted material. If you like the music of White Horse, we also have streaming MP3s at, the URL is:


                        I would like to hear from drums who have already recorded their music.

                        Bernard Awasis


                        • #13
                          I think being recorded is an honor - record on!


                          • #14
                            I haven't made any recordings at powwows, but when I am shopping for powwow CD's I do give strong preference to drums that are selling their own recordings. Rather than paying $15 for a CD and having most of the money get split up zillions of ways, I bought one of Kicking Womans' CD's that they were selling at a powwow - they obviously had to shell out their own money to have it recorded and published and I would rather front some cash directly to the deserving singers. The latest CD I picked up is from Redstone, who played at the Tulalip Veterans' Memorial (just north of Seattle) this weekend.
                            "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
                            Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service


                            Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

                            Related Topics


                            • SingerMD
                              Singing Songs Correctly
                              by SingerMD
                              East of the Mississippi there are several groups that simply butcher songs, but think they are all that. What’s your take on groups that can’t or don’t know how to sing songs correctly? Has anyone confronted these so called "good" drums, or do you just let them be and not waste your time?
                              03-06-2008, 07:17 PM
                            • LSS
                              Any prior experiences?
                              by LSS
                              How many of you had prior experiences w/ a Northern Drum?

                              Did it help? Could you specifically pin-point something that helped the most?

                              With "green" guys coming onto the scene, what kinds of things work for them?
                              05-10-2006, 09:25 PM
                            • off the top
                              Just wondering about eastern powwows?
                              by off the top
                              I noticed that there are alot of powwows on the eastern seaboard from Florida up to Maine. I was just wondering if there is a need for these powwow committees to expand their knowledge of drum groups who are willing to travel and attend their powwows. Its just that I've noticed alot of the same drums...
                              03-16-2001, 01:53 AM
                            • HeyDad!!
                              Dance Progression
                              by HeyDad!!
                              I know that like other songs there are slow medium and fast songs. When singing these songs how should one proceed? For example say your singing 7 or 8 sets, should the first and second be slow, the 3rd slow - medium, 4-6 medium, and 7 and 8 fast?

                              06-26-2000, 03:09 PM
                            • billyjoejimbob
                              Strange drum traditions
                              by billyjoejimbob
                              Being on the east coast, I have seen my share of strange things at powwows. Since Im a singer, I will focus on THE DRUM.

                              There are a bunch of strange drums in the east. You know who Im talking about. Those drums that sing and hit the drum but you dont know if its northern or southern....
                              03-22-2006, 08:57 AM



                            There are no results that meet this criteria.

                            Sidebar Ad