Tha Yoties, a four-man reggae rock band with Native American influences, will perform at the Dolores River Brewery on June 23 from 6 to 11 p.m.
Singer and guitar player Ed Kabotie is a member of the Hopi Tribe, and shares cultural and contemporary experiences of Southwest Native Americans through music.
“We bring awareness to the issues and cultures of tribes on the Colorado Plateau,” he said. “Our music is reggae and classic rock, with an upbeat, danceable style and educational message — we call it edu-tainment, or New Native Folk.”
As part of a solo opening act, Kabotie performs storytelling songs while playing guitar and Native American flute.
“My songwriting incorporates historic and contemporary stories and is bit of an insider view of the Hopi and Tewa culture,” he says. “We dispel the myth that all Mative people are the same. Each tribe has a different world view.”
Bass player Hunter Eagleman RedDay is Navajo and Dakota Sioux, and brings his native perspectives to the band as well. Lead guitarist Alec “Xoi Wolf” Tippett and drummer Andrew Baker round out the band.
Kabotie sees reggae music as an effective medium for communicating the historic oppression and current struggles of Native peoples.
“We play in a hopeful vibe, but also drop some bombs about injustice,” he said.
The pollution of Navajo lands by abandoned uranium mines and the protection of cultural sites are important issues for the band.
“Yoties is a metaphor for Coyote, and we are howling for the people and lands of the Colorado Plateau,” Kabotie said. “But we also cover our favorite classic rock bands like Steve Miller and Led Zeppelin.”
The event is a fundraiser for the Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance, an advocacy group for public lands and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. There will be a silent auction featuring artworks by Terri Helm, Charlie Becker, Fran Mayfield and Lanny Wagner. A portion of beer sales will go toward the fundraiser.
“We will have information on our programs and ways to volunteer,” said Canyons Alliance Director Diane McBride. “It is our summer solstice party with a really good band!”
Cover is $12 at the door or $10 in advance at the Onward! donation website.