Larry Long writes songs the same way an artists uses found objects: a bit of local folklore here, a traditional American Indian instrument there, and, before you know it, he’s created a thing of beauty. It might take a little time before that beauty becomes clear, but the listener’s patience never goes unrewarded.
On this, his third album, the Minneapolis song crafter and guardian of the Mississippi River has assembled a most intriguing and beguiling collection of tunes. (Long has called in some chips, and fans of local music will recognize assistants like Michael Johnson, Peter Ostroushko, Claudia Schmidt, Leo Kottke, Billy Peterson and Bruce Kurnow).
The centerpiece of the album is a 13-minute-long “Water in the Rain,” which recalls and is dedicated to the 38 Dakota warriors who were hanged en masse in Mankato in 1862. It also features Dakota poet Amos Owen listing the names of the 38 and offering a prayer for reconciliation. It is a project of moving depth and emotion that demands repeated hearing and rapt attention. Rating: 4 Stars – James M. Tarbox, St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch
Larry Long – Lead Vocal, 12-String Guitar | Amos Owen – Dakota Prayer & Reciting the names of the 38 Dakota hung by Lincoln’s decree in 1862 | Raymond Owen – Hand Drum on Memorial Song ‘Dakota Oyate’| Mitch Walking Elk – Drum, Singer on ‘Dakota Oyate’.| Sherry Blakey Banai – Singer on ‘Dakota Oyate’.| Claudia Schmidt – Support vocals | Peter Ostroushko – Violin
Billy Peterson – Acoustic Bass | Steve Faison – Beanpod, Congas | Ron Miles – Rainstick | Production: Amos Owen, Larry Long, Rick McArthur, Billy Peterson
Produced by Billy Peterson & Larry Long
Digitally recorded at Creation Audio
Recording Engineer: Chopper Black
Mixing Engineers: Chopper Black & Lynn F. Peterson
Musical Consultant: Rick McArthur
Front Cover Art: Traditional Cree Biting of Birch Innerbark by Angelique Merasty (Beaver Lake, Saskatchewan)
Front Cover Photo: Ron Miles
Sweet Thunder is made available through Larry Long Music in association with Rock the Cause Records