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Out of the Ashes

Shelley Morningsong is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and flutist. On [Out of the Ashes](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HT3KZG?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000HT3KZG) she proclaims her Northern Cheyenne heritage as a source of pride and strength. There are thirteen tracks. The first song, "Sweet Protector," is an upbeat pop/rock number. "Sing for Them" honors Morningsong's ancestors and utilizes tribal drums, as do some of the other songs. The merging of traditional styling with modern pop convention makes for a unique sound. Every song on this album deals with social issues important to Native Americans. Morningsong's own personal struggles – alluded to in the liner notes – have helped her grow as a songwriter. Morningsong's spirit shows all through the album.

"World Gone Crazy" asks the question of who will teach and lead the children of Native Americans. "Out of the Ashes" tells the Northen Cheyenne creation myth. Not being versed in Native American mythology, I was able to learn from this song. All the songs here have lessons of some kind. Morningsong sticks to her themes of pride, self-reliance, faith and love for one's family. She also has a clean, soothing voice that goes well with the instrumentation. She shows her range as a singer, going from joyful to meditative to melancholy over the course of the album. The sound and mixing are good, with electric guitar and synthesizer riffs provided by Larry Mitchell. Morningsong's husband, Fabian Fontenelle, rounds out the group with percussion and a few spoken word parts. This album is worth listening to, and the rhythms are catchy enough that you will soon be humming them in the grocery line.

Written by: Steve Watson, February 12th 2007

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