The national Nammy Awards ceremony took place in Niagara Falls this month. Gary Small and the Coyote Brothers won an award for Best World Music for their percussive, Reggae-inspired album “Hostiles and Renegades.”
Gary Small is a Northern Cheyenne Indian. Previously, he has won for songwriter of the year, best rock recording, and best male artist. Previous albums had a range of musical styles, from surf rock to rockabilly.
“I guess I’m kind of a restless-musician-type. I don’t like to dwell on one style of music forever. I think you need to put it down for a while and give it a rest and look at your other influences. And, certainly, I have plenty of other influences to keep me busy.”
Small says he plans to ride the Reggae inspiration for another album, because he has some more ideas he’d like to try out.
Small says many Americans associate “Native American” music with the pipe-and-drum based “mood music” sold at big box stores. Smalls says they’re missing out.
“I’m waiting for broader America to accept that, too, that Native Americans can have a heavy-metal band. They can have a reggae-style band, they can have a country band. And yet, coming from their culture, and coming from their experience, they say something that’s unique to their own selves that nobody else can do.”
Small says the Nammy Awards ceremony showcases a wide range of good music – including jazz, blues, and rock-and-roll – from across North America.