Indigenous

Indigenous

Indigenous

Chasing the Sun

Vanguard Records

When I was in high school in Grand Island, Neb., in the mid-to-late 1990s, a little-known band called Indigenous was playing small bars like Cunningham’s in Kearney, and Knickerbockers in Lincoln. I didn’t think much about going to any of the shows because I was an alternative-rock snob (minus the flannel –and I happen to like showering to this day). I thought they were just one of the several of local bands that would eventually fizzle and never be heard from again. A decade later, I realize that I made a horrible mistake.

Chasing the Sun opens with the heavily blues-influenced pop-rock barn-burner “Runaway” that sounds like, but is better than, anything Los Lonely Boys has done. They don’t stop there, as “I’ll Be Waiting” continues the heavy guitars and driving rhythms that permeate the entire album.

“Come On Home” slows it down a bit but still exudes the intense passion that has been the trademark of Indigenous since they started back in the mid ’90s.

Indigenous started out as a sibling project led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Mato Nanji, his two brothers and his sister. They released three albums (including a live disc) before unexpectedly breaking up to explore their individual musical potential. So Nanji took the Indigenous name (and his bassist brother, Pete) and continued forging the heavy blues-rock that has made the band increasingly famous.

Chasing the Sun, their Vanguard debut, is a blues-rock tour de force and makes me yearn for those local smoky nights when this South Dakota wonder was the best local band in the Great Plains. Having toured with the likes of Willie Nelson, they’re primed to be the best band in the nation from the Great Plains.

Vanguard Records: www.vanguardrecords.com

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