Ep. #229: Willie Thrasher

Willie Thrasher is a gifted Inuk singer and songwriter who lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia. In 2014, three of Thrasher’s earliest songs, appeared on the wondrous and revelatory Light in the Attic Records compilation, Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985, renewing interest in his and other Aboriginal artists’ work. On October 30, Thrasher’s powerful 1981 debut album. Spirit Child, was reissued by Light in the Attic, and here we discuss eating breakfast in Nanaimo, his 2009 album Asumatak – The Great Land, how life hasn’t changed that much since Willie was featured on the Native North America compilation, becoming known for something you made 40 years ago, as a kid, feeling young, WIllie’s nice voice, screaming and yelling and playing drums in the Cordells, Willie’s aggressive voice, performing not busking with his wife Linda, getting respect as an artist in Canada, the impact of contemporary publicity, Kevin Howes, Willie Mitchell, David Campbell, growing up, the residential school experience, being one of 21 children, discovering country music via a local radio station, A Hard Day’s Night and Ringo Starr, the Cordells, the mysterious man who changed his life by suggesting he get back in touch with his tradition, the song “Wolves Don’t Live by the Rules,” recording Inuit songs at the CBC in Montreal, leaving the Northwest Territories forever in 1970, living all across Canada in the ensuing years, WIllie’s style, how Spirit Child changed things for Willie, following up Spirit Child, firefighting, whaling, the significance of external respect for Aboriginal music, unity, Willie and Linda’s new songs, “Wolves Don’t Live by the Rules,” and that was it.     

Related links: lightintheattic.net vishkhanna.com

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