Time for a music review. My friend Lavender and her band, the Tribe, put out a fresh set of songs in a beautiful album, Strange Among the Different. First, let me tell you guys a bit about the tribe.
The tribe is run by a guy called Will Darkangelo, minister at the First Parish Church of Fitchburg, a Universal Unitarian church with a big twist. UU churches support LGBTQI+ and … bonus, they support the disabled. I would find one in Colorado, but can’t seem to get the man to join me at church.
Anyway, Will and his band have done some incredible mentorship opportunities, and Will and his husband, Jamie, adopted Lavender, whose recent singing has gone viral. Lavender herself started life in challenging circumstances, under a different name, in a Laos Asian family that didn’t quite understand where she came from in blind and autistic circles. Lavender rose to become one of the Tribe’s most important singers, and still sings today.
IF I want to get to the meat and potatoes, here’s a summary of the album I want to review here.
The Tribe has a great set of original sounds in their original compositions as well as covers. One of my favorite songs on the album, oddly enough, is a song Bobby McFerrin wrote, Don’t Worry, B Happy. Even Will as he sang gave Mr. McFerrin the credit for writing the song, which is well deserved. Bobby has done some incredible work over the years, and it’s refreshing to see the Tribe put a new spin on his work.
My favorite original has to be Lavender’s own composition, Will I Ever. She has a crystal clear voice, ringing out as she sings of the passing of two of her Tribe friends. This band is so close, but I might add that in all their recordings in the album, they sound like they’re all having a lot of fun doing things together. I think the most original cover they’ve done besides the Don’t Worry Be Happy song is the strangely different version of Colors of the Wind, from Disney’s Pocahontas, which though the film is not my favorite, the song is better in all ways. Will’s tribe version of this song sends a powerful message about difference, the same message conveyed in Vanessa Williams’s title version. Of course, I forgot the original name of the Virginia Algonquin girl who is associated with that song, but Pocahontas, as I’d later come to know, seemed more memorable to the British explorers who did not speak the language, but they settled Jamestown in 1607, and the real story of the girl is written by the famed John Smith, but that’s another story for a different day. The Tribe made it known that Colors of the Wind is certainly not going away any time soon.
I think the most interesting song they did was one called Fortunate Son, and to round out the most interesting, we still have the Star Spangled Banner. One can tell the harmonies throughout all these songs were carefully constructed, and yes, I loved the beats. They were, as one guy might say, really groovy. Sick, groovy, full of passion and light. That’s how I’d describe this album. It is, indeed I have to add, not too strange, but still, among the different when it comes to music.
Note: I sadly don’t have a website for Lavender but if you want to check out the album, it is available in iTunes, Google, and other streaming services such as Spotify. Just search Strange Among the Different by Will and the Tribe, and you’ll find it. I’d love to acknowledge all of my friends and supporters here in the blogosphere, and if anyone wants to read this review, feel free.