Just released music video for “These Days” from Water,Fire and Other Relatives, the new Clan Dyken album. www.clandyken.com for more.
Click on the picture of the cover to listen to the new Clan Dyken album Water Fire and Other Relatives
“It was an honor to have the Dyken’s record their new project up here at Wind River Studios. This is a very powerful CD friends and I am proud to have been invited into the space while this magic and spirit were being created and captured. The singing, song writing and performing on this project is truly inspiring.” – Keith Greeninger
“ Okay .. everyone… I listened to this new CD by Clan Dyken on our way to Capitola the other day… it’s fantastic!! Jump all in and buy yours today. I give it a 10 thumbs up 👍” – Margaret Taylor
“This is currently my favorite CD
Support rural artists” – Tyx Pulskamp
Source: CD Baby | Music Player
It’s been six years since the last Clan Dyken album. We are happy and proud to release Fire, Water and Other Relatives. 14 songs with an outstanding cast, including Keith Greeninger, Dayan Kai, Tammi Brown, Heather Normandale, Thomas Spellman, and Warren Jones. Combined with their world class vocal and instrumental performances, the strength of the material, and the magic of the Wind River Recording Studio, Clan Dyken produced something special.
The CD features a range of musical styles and unique crossover sounds. From the stark and introspective duo of Mark Dyken on cajon and rattle being the only accompaniment to the vocals and acoustic guitar of his brother, singer songwriter, Bear Dyken on Stories Repeat to Vietnamese Dan Moi mouth harp and Silas Dyken thumping the bass in Good Morning Grandmother. From the transforming influence of the Butte Fire in Grandfather Fire to the expansive and powerful Good Ship Starfinder every very song hits the mark. There are no fillers.
You can order the CD from The Store at www.clandyken.com
July 29 Cafe Blossom, Twain Harte
Aug 5 Cooper’s Corral, Sheep Ranch Record Release Party
Aug 9 Farmer’s Market Concert Series, Tuolumne City Park
Aug 12 The Refuge, Jamestown Record Release Party
Aug 19 River Ranch Music Festival, River Ranch Campground Tuolumne City
Aug 26 Tuolumne County Indivisible Fest – The Refuge, Jamestown
Aug 26 Benefit for Lakota People’s Law Project, Odd Fellows Hall Nevada City
For more details visit clandyken.com
The new Clan Dyken album is a few weeks away from official release. Water, Fire and Other Relatives features songs of family, heart break, transformation and perseverance. An amazing cast of musicians and other creative talents came together to give life to the latest collection of Bear’s writing. We’ll drop the details on you soon. In the meantime here’s a track that features just Bear on the acoustic guitar and vocals with a little percussion help from Mark. It’s free to stream or download, just follow the link.
It’s been a little harder than usual to be hopeful for me this year. The ugly presidential campaign, between two of the most unpopular candidates in history has cast a pall across our nation. It has set a tone and seems to align with news about things I care for being in rough shape. The stand-off at Standing Rock, the racial divide and police killings, run away climate change, the ever growing surveillance state, never ending war, income inequality, access to health care, the unchecked power and influence of banks, multi-national corporations and the global oligarchy, disappearing habitat and loss of biodiversity, friends and family are struggling in many ways, geez the list goes on and on.
Perhaps it’s the non-stop news cycle, focused almost exclusively on negative stories. Maybe it’s related to being older, being a grandparent and wondering what kind of planet will be left for future generations and why I didn’t do all I thought I could when I was young and more of life was ahead of me instead of behind me. Elders I looked to for wisdom and perspective are gone. I’m having to squint a little harder to find the light.
Then it hits me – it’s up to me to change the way I’m looking at things. To find hope I have to be hopeful, to see the light I have to turn my own up. When a child smiles, when a song rocks, when the next generation of activists make their voice heard, when the brilliance of what humans are capable of reveals itself in art, dance, scientific innovation or inspired revolution hope grows. When loving displays of compassion are revealed in the middle of disaster my own resolve is renewed. I simply have no choice, I have to believe we can make it better.
Now more than ever, it’s time to be in touch with the creative mind, the moral imagination, the source of the light. Time to come together and feel our power. That’s what the Clan Dyken Revive the Beauty Way Tour has been all about for 25 years. In our small way we connect in community and bring that collective good will in the form of food, supplies, firewood, labor and witness in a spirit of solidarity to true Earth Protectors and Wisdom Keepers of the Dineh Nation in the Black Mesa region of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Remembering how we act every day, how we treat each other, how we use our energy and where we direct it is far more important than who we vote for in Washington.
Like the Land and Water Protectors at Standing Rock, the people who live between the Four Sacred Mountains stand up to and resist fossil fuel extraction by a government backed multi-national corporation. Peabody Coal has been mining here since the 1960’s and sending tons of coal to generating stations to produce dirty energy for the southwest at the expense of the original people for decades. Since 1974 the people have been resisting forced relocation and dealing with the health effects of living next to one of the world’s largest strip mines. Sacred sites, including the Sundance grounds have been bull dozed and desecrated. They have been torn from their homes, seen the earth ripped open and plundered, had the water, land and air fouled by greed and a lust for dirty energy. I’ve seen them confronted by militarized police, spied on, lied to and disregarded as human beings. The fight is the same as the one in Standing Rock, but it’s been going on for over 40 years in this part of the country.
We started this years’ Beauty Way Tour in Jamestown at the Refuge. It was a wonderful kick off to the journey and we were happy to send half the proceeds to Standing Rock. We sent it to Curly and Donna Eagle Hawk, who have set a prayer camp between the Red Warrior and Sacred Stone camps, on tribal land. It’s a place for rest and respite, free from arrest or violence. Our contribution, funneled through local activist Jenny Fuqua bought a generator, lumber and propane.
We’ve decided to stand with Standing Rock for the rest of the tour, spreading the concept of Thanks Giving a little farther. Our goal is to send at least $1000 per show to Standing Rock. Be a part of the celebration in solidarity with Earth Defenders around the world.
There are opportunities for you to join us in kindling hope or even to make the journey to the reservation. We will be joined by light bearers, amazing artists and other members of the tribe at the following shows. I can’t wait to see you and make magic!
4 – Oakland – The Place For Sustainable Living 7 PM with Heather Normandale and Desirae Harp
5 – Grass Valley – The Banner Grange 4 PM- with Boca Do Rio, Fast Rattler and Kimberly Bass. There will be a screening of Broken Rainbow, the award winning film about the struggle in Black Mesa
11- Sebastopol (tentative) – A house party, we’ll update you when it’s all set.
12 – Arcata- Bayside Grange 7 PM
17 – Mount Shasta City – The Temple of Intention 7 PM with Djin Aquarian
18 – Williams, OR – Williams Grange 5:30 PM With the Community Corn Dance
19 – Junction City – The North Fork Grange 7 PM with RXR, Stealhead and the Trinity Tribal Drum
20 – 27 – Out to the reservation and back.
2016 Beauty Way Tour and Supply Run
This is my dear friend, Louise Benally of the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation. I met her 25 years ago on my first trip to the Big Mountain region of the Navajo Reservation in Northern Arizona. She was born into a life of resistance and activism, fighting against great odds to remain on the land creator gave her people. She appeared in the 1985 Academy Award Winning Documentary, Broken Rainbow as a teenage activist, explaining the struggle against forced relocation and has been on the front lines ever since.
Her people live on land that holds coal, uranium and other resources the outside world uses to fuel a lifestyle that is poisoning our mother earth. Like the protectors in North Dakota, the Dine’ have long stood against these practices and warned of the consequences we face if we continue. In the time I’ve known her I’ve seen intimidation, violence, sanctions, live-stock confiscations, sacred sites bulldozed, drinking water wells capped, elders dragged from their homes, lies, broken promises and much more used against the people as tactics in continuing the pressure to force them from the land. They live in what some people call a “National Sacrifice Area”, adjacent to the world’s largest coal strip mine. Louise is one of only a few hold outs who have not signed the Accommodation Agreement, a 99-year lease that allows people to stay, but under restrictions and with an end date.
It’s the same all over this country. Indigenous nations suffer through the extraction, toxic processing and disposal of our energy and resource systems. People like Louise live with the collective memory of genocide – loss of land, people, language, song, ceremony, healing ways, plants, water and more than we can know. This is not just history, it continues today. But they are still there.
That’s why members of Clan Dyken and our extended family have been going back to Big Mountain every Thanksgiving since that first trip. It will be our 25th year in support of the resistors.
This year, in addition to our distribution of food and fire wood to families around the area we are organizing to bring building and repair supplies to Louise’s home site. We’ll play a concert there and have a few work days so she can keep a place on the land.
We are working on filling in the final dates for the 2016 Annual Beauty Way Tour. The concerts support the food and supply run. We start October 15th at the Refuge in Jamestown, CA and tour around California and Oregon before heading deep into the reservation for Thanksgiving. If you are interested in bringing the show to your town please get in touch. Clubs, small theaters, community centers, house parties, barn dances – we’ll do it anywhere it works.
To make this happen we’ll need your support and there are many ways you can help – sponsor or produce a show, come to a show, organize your own fund raiser, commit to coming on the journey (be careful it could change your life) or be creative and come up with a new way to produce resources.
You can also visit the Beauty Way page of the Clan Dyken web site to make a contribution.
Wildest ride ever. From the center of the Butte Fire, Clan Dyken will ride out on the 23rd annual Revive the Beauty Way Tour in support of the Thanks Giving Food and Supply Run to the Dineh Nation. Bear and Somer lost their home, like many others in the neighborhood and Calaveras County, but they are still committed to support the people on the land who’ve been loosing houses and land for over 40 years to forced relocation for coal mining. Join the effort, come to the shows or go all out and join the caravan for the sojourn deep into the Dineh Nation. Grandmother is waiting for you.
It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you. We are busy in some different ways right now, but looking to get musically active again this spring and summer.
We are looking forward to traveling to Sebastopol and playing a benefit on March 20th for Music & Memory. They do amazing work – bringing music to elders suffering from Alzhiemers and other forms of dementia to stimulate their memory. Check out their web page www.musicandmemory.org
The show will be at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. It starts at 7:30. For details check this Facebook page or Reverbnation.com
We will also be part of the annual Calaveras Earth Day Celebration on April 26 in Utica Park, downtown Angels Camp.
Hope to see you there.
2014 Beauty Way
After a one-year hiatus we traveled the Beauty Way again. It was a great feeling to be back on the road, sharing music and working together to bring the love to the people on the land. Your kindness and generosity raised $18,000 to bring food, supplies and firewood to the families on the land.
The grass roots, people-to-people effort is always an epic journey from the early planning to the road between the communities of support and the final trip deep into the land of the Dineh. It also means we work on a small budget, run on faith and have to be open to the twists and turns of the road. Flexibility is key and this year we had some special challenges.
The tour kicked off in Sonora, at the renovated Sonora Opera Hall. The drum circle, a new local band – Goldy Different- and a powerful round dance set the right tone for the start of the voyage. It really felt good to get the groove going again.
Murphys was a lot of fun, in a new venue, Outer Aisle. The outstanding food and drinks inside an organic, farm to table store and restaurant, along with a Somer Moon set made for a sweet party. Momentum was building as we headed to another new venue in Grass Valley.
A fall chill was in the air, but inside the Banner Grange it was hot. A large family style soup and salad dinner, a showing of the movie Broken Rainbow and a music line up that included Kimberly Bass, Goodshield and Mignon, and Wonderfunk heated the place up right. It was a very sweaty round dance. The energy continued to build as we set our wheels in motion to Oregon for a show at the Williams Grange.
As we were leaving the small town of Jacksonville on the way to the show in Williams Buster Gillig, aka Busta Move, the faithful band bus and supply hauler suffered major engine failure. We barely got off the road as Buster died. We were stranded 30 miles from the gig with tons of gear, food, supplies and people, a few hours before show time.
A small cavalry lead by Ryan was dispatched from Williams and we were able to get most of the people and gear to Williams in time for a great show. I know I was a bit dazed, perhaps traumatized by the loss of Buster, but the energy of the Williams crowd, the corn dance and all the love carried the evening. Those kind folks poured out extra cash, knowing we were going to incur some big time expense loosing the bus. Meanwhile super trooper Daniel stayed with Buster and facilitated a major tow job, involving two giant wreckers and traffic control.
Now we were gypsies without a wagon and even more to haul, including 3000 pounds of squash. It’s about 200 miles from Williams to the Bayside Grange and the show was the very next night. Buster was back in Ashland at a diesel repair shop with Daniel and a lot of gear and we still had to get it all to Arizona in two days.
The short version of the story is allies and U-Hauls. Volunteer drivers, donated vehicles, a big U-Haul and a lot of hustle got everything out of the bus, plus what we picked up in Williams, loaded and down the road to Arcata, just in time to see Joanne Rand finish her set. We rode the wave of a high vibe in the Bayside Grange, played the show and loaded even more supplies into our ever-changing caravan and zoomed back to Calaveras County.
Here we dropped off what we didn’t need or couldn’t carry, returned the U-Haul, loaded into a new set of vehicles and hit the road. It was late night when we stopped at the Travertine Hot Springs for a break. It was a sweet moment of respite from the manic pace of the past few days.
The next morning Daniel had some red swelling on his arm and a low-grade fever. We also found out one of the volunteer vehicles had broken down on 395 heading south. We pushed on to Flagstaff to regroup. By the time we made Flag, Daniels arm was really swelling-he wound up in the Flagstaff hospital for two nights with a bad infection. The broken truck was left behind, another U-Haul added and somehow we all (except Daniel) met at the homestead of Leta O’Daniel, deep in the Big Mountain region of the Dineh Nation.
By the time we got there camp was in full swing, much of the food already divided, wood was being cut, split and delivered and the place was humming at a high level. Activists from BMIS, the Colorado crew and our network of supporters joined forces to serve the people and get the goods out.
Darlene, Michelle, Brian, Mike and a hard working crew had things mapped out so the deliveries went well. Tzaddi, Taj, Karen and Malachai made sure we got to the most remote homesteads.
In all 90 families received 15 tons of food and supplies. More than 20 cords of wood were delivered to keep the home fires burning. Yes, the numbers are dwindling and some may ask if such an effort is worth it to reach less than 200 people. That’s why we encourage you to join the caravan and make the journey. Once you see the people and what they are going through to hold onto the land and how it ties into the bigger picture I think you will understand why it is so important to keep this connection strong and let them know we stand in solidarity. It’s all there – the first nation people and their land rights, the greed of major energy corporations, the ugly politics and corruption, the environmental racism and destruction of mother earth, climate change, ground water issues and above all the lack of true justice play out in what’s happening to the Dineh Nation. Through it all the people remain and pay the price. So we will keep going to offer what support we can.
There is always reason for hope. One of the places I love to visit the most is the homestead of the Yazzie family in Sand Springs. The family has been farming for three generations in the same spot. They have seen times of plenty when the water was flowing and the fields were full, and lean times of drought and extreme hardship. Like much of the west the drought has been going here for several years. It makes this struggle even harder. For the last few years very little has been grown on the farm that once produced enough to feed the family and sell to a local store.
We pulled into the homestead on Thanksgiving eve. Kids and the young men were playing basketball, the elders were laughing and in good spirits. This year the gardens were tended again. Squash, melons, peppers and corn did real well. Woody and Jonathan proudly showed us some squash and melons stored in one of the hogans for later in the year. They feel good about the coming year and the possibility of growing even more.
One thing I notice about life out there. It is steady. It doesn’t matter what the Dow Jones Industrial Index is today, no one knows what the rate of inflation is or the current interest on a new car loan. The latest international crisis or rumor about Miley Cyrus won’t change what they do or think about today.
So in Sand Springs they plan for the next planting, they get the kids to school in the morning and watch the basketball games at night, they give thanks for what creator has given and work with what they have. Somehow in Sand Springs there is always hope.
Once again the days flew by and it was time to head home in what seemed like an eye blink. Daniel was scooped up from the hospital, healthy and whole. Bear and Somer made it back in his truck, but the pick-up bed trailer that has made so many journeys to the land and homesteads behind the Blue Pearl literally vibrated apart on the rough reservation roads.
Buster has been donated to Ryan and Liz to use as housing for interns on their organic farm in Williams. I’m looking for a new bus – would it be too tacky to crowd source funding for a band bus? One way or another we’ll see you on the road in 2015.
Thanks again for all your support.