Singer-storyteller Robert Seven Crows: Wabôzsipi

With roots in the Gaspé, Metis-Acadian-Mik’maq artist Robert Seven Crows likes to introduce himself as a mixed blood.

The artist from Mont-Laurier is known around the world as a storyteller and author-composer-singer. On April 26 he released his first Indigenous-French album, whose style he describes as swamp-folk: music played in southern Louisiana. The album is called Wabôzsipi, the Anishnabe name for the La Lièvre (the hare) river.

Robert Seven Crows, born in Lachine, spent his youth there and in the Gaspé. He was raised to the beat of country music and, from the age of eight, played guitar along with his uncles. He was in his twenties when he felt the call of his Indigenous roots. On the strength of teachings from the elders, he took on the mission of passing on his culture.

Encouraged by Carl Bastien, musician and director, the artist awakened his French gene and for his third album, stopped writing in English. With his spouse, Joan Pawnee, he started showing his ideas and writing them down.

She corrected them and adjusted the form. Together, they applied the finishing touches. In taking to writing in French, Robert Seven Crows found an unhoped-for freedom of expression.

Seven Crows sings like he tells stories. His gentle voice invites us to stop and listen. His themes are both light and deep, and he tackles daily life by imbuing it with emotion. He testifies, without reproach, to the tragic history of his people.

The subtle joining of traditional Indigenous music, folk music and his sensitive voice manage to touch the soul.  Wabôzsipi is a quiet joy.

The genius of Carl Bastien sublimates the poetry of Robert Seven Crows. He gathered talented musicians who took the time to capture the essence of the artist and, together, create a rich musical arrangement that succeeds in supporting his marvelous stories. Well worth discovering.

The album Wabôzsipi is available online on Deezer, Spotify and Apple Music.

 

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