Music Review

Black Belt Eagle Scout – The Land, The Water, The Sky

todayMarch 9, 2023 261

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By Kristi Houk
Recommended if you like: Big Thief, Mazzy Star, Nick Drake, Buffy Sainte-Marie
March is Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate than championing Black Belt Eagle Scout’s latest release, The Land, The Water, The Sky on Saddle Creek. (home to fellow artists like Big Thief, Indigo De Souza, and Spirit of the Beehive.) 

The Land, The Water, The Sky finds singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Katherine Paul (she/they) returning to their ancestral roots along the Skagit River in Washington State. Fun fact: the Skagit River is the second largest river in the Northwest and one of the largest in the United States. Paul grew up in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community on Puget Sound in Washington. One of their musical goals is to see more representation of indigenous people playing music.   
Water imagery permeates this record, especially on tracks like “Salmon Stinta” and “On the River”  with sparse and meditative moments weaved throughout.  At times, there’s little more than her airy vocals and the droning strum of an electric guitar. Don’t be fooled! There’s no shortage of rocking out. Case in point—the eerie opening track, “My Blood Runs Through This Land” features plenty of distorted guitars with Paul’s ghostly vocals yearning for ancestral connection.

My blood runs through this land IWanna know what you hear whenThunder in the land and sphereWe like to see our futures bright andI know you speak through me IFeel it in the sound of waterTouching all the rocks I feelNo one can take this moment away ’causeMy blood runs through this land    
We should all spend time getting to know our roots thus knowing ourselves. 
Life is hard sometimes, but knowing where we come from can bring a sense of belonging and community and I think that’s what Katherine Paul would like us to get closer to. 
Stand Out Tracks: “My Blood Runs Through This Land,” “Salmon Stinta,”  “Treeline” 

Written by: kristi houk

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