Buffy Sainte-Marie – Little Wheel Spin and Spin – 1966 – Vanguard Records

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Little Wheel Spin and Spin - 1966

I first heard Buffy Sainte-Marie on ABC Radio National in a documentary on Native Americans. It was the title song to this album. It was about ’92 or ’93. I was about 19 years old. For a year or so I couldn’t get the song out of my head but I had no idea who the artist was. I hadn’t caught her name. I wanted to know so I could get her records. Her voice was extraordinary, simultaneously other-worldly and earthy. Finally I heard a repeat of the same doco on the radio and this time I caught her name. I first bought this, her third album and It’s My Way! her first album together. I ordered them in on CD through a record shop that was next to the second hand bookstore in Epping, NSW, where I worked at the time. I was completely blown away by how good she was, great voice and a really great writer. She was every bit as good as Dylan. Why hadn’t she become equally as well known? Back in 1997 all my CDs were stolen when someone broke into my home. That was tragic, a couple of hundred albums gone. Luckily back then there was little point in thieves stealing LPs as there was nowhere to sell vinyl plus it was heavier to cart around. There just wasn’t a market for it anymore, not like there is now that there has been a resurgence, so my 2000 LPs went untouched. But all my Buffy Sainte-Marie albums back then were on CD so they were gone. It took some time but thankfully I now own most of her records on vinyl. Some of the guitar on this album is by Bruce Langhorne, one of my favourite players. He has a nice, pared down, organic style. Standout tracks from this record are the title track and My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying. Buffy is one of the best.

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