2016 JUNOs: Aboriginal Album of the Year Nominees

Armond Duck Chief: The One

Armond Duck Chief - The OneThis is Armond’s first JUNO nomination. In the words of the JUNOs: “Armond Duck Chief is a country singer/song writer, rodeo cowboy and family man, born and raised in the Siksika Nation on Blackfoot territory in Alberta, Canada – where he continues to live out his dreams in music and rodeo. … In his early 20’s, he discovered at a karaoke bar that he could carry a note. His cousin/college roommate taught him how to play the guitar and so began his love for writing songs. His second album released in December 2014 titled The One recently won Best Country CD at the Indigenous Music Awards. Armond also won Song Writer of the Year at the awards held in Winnipeg, MB September 11th at the MTS Centre.”

Black Bear: Come & Get Your Love

Black Bear - Come and Get your loveThe first JUNO nomination for the group, the JUNOs state: “Black Bear Singers are an Atikamekw First Nation drum group from Manawan, Québec. They have been interested in powwow music since 2000 and had never seen such a thing as a powwow drum group working with musicians from different styles of music – until now. Meeting members from A Tribe Called Red was very eye-opening for all of them. They discovered a new style of making music and are really happy to be part of their music. Come & Get Your Love was recorded in St-Zénon QC, as a part of a larger project that included A Tribe Called Red. They recorded the CD at the same time as they recorded voices and drum separately, and many other things, for A Tribe Called Red’s upcoming CD.”

Buffy Sainte-Marie: Power in the Blood

Buffy Sainte-Marie - power in the bloodOriginally from Saskatoon, Buffy is also nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. She has previously won 3 JUNO awards including Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The JUNOs write: “Buffy Sainte-Marie is an internationally renowned recording artist, activist, educator, visual artist and winner of countless awards (Oscar, JUNO Award and Golden Globe, among them). With an esteemed career spanning five decades to date, Sainte-Marie is widely known for her 1960s protest anthems (Universal Soldier, Now That The Buffalo’s Gone), open-hearted love songs such as ‘Until It’s Time for You to Go’ (which has been recorded by a lengthy list of international stars including Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand and Cher), incendiary powwow rockers like ‘Starwalker’, and the juggernaut Academy Award-winning pop hit ‘Up Where We Belong’.

“Her bold new album, Power in the Blood, is an honest reflection of the Cree singer-songwriter and begins where it all started more than 50 years ago, with a contemporary version of ‘It’s My Way,’ the title track of her 1964 debut. Its message, about the road to self-identity and the conviction to be oneself, is one that still resonates with Sainte-Marie and is among the hallmarks of her catalogue – the eclecticism and compassion she brings to each album, oblivious to genre boundaries and production trends – that are in glorious bloom throughout Power in the Blood.”

Derek Miller: Rumble

derek miller - rumbleFrom Oshweken, Ontario, Derek Miller has previously won 2 JUNO awards in this same category. He was a performer at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The JUNOs state: “Guitarist and singer/songwriter, Derek Miller, is a journeyman musician with eclectic taste and a knack for roots inflected rock. In the late ’90s he toured with iconic Canadian vocalist Buffy Sainte-Marie but also garnered a JUNO Award for both his debut album, Music Is the Medicine, and sophomore album The Dirty Looks in 2008 – and a nomination for Derek Miller with Double Trouble, featuring ‘Damned if You Do,’ a duet with Willie Nelson. Derek’s latest album, Rumble, takes us to the heart of Native Americana romanticism. … The signature artists featured on this CD represent the diversity of native achievement in American mainstream music. … Derek Miller is a dynamic performer. Whether you catch him live or listen to his studio albums, you get a real sense of an artist striving for the pursuit of perfection in his work and life.”

Don Amero: Refined

don amero - refinedDon, hailing from Winnipeg, is also nominated for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. These are his second and third JUNO nominations. He was nominated in this category in 2013. In the words of the JUNOs: “Don Amero is a powerful stylist, JUNO Award nominee and engaging storyteller whose latest single, ‘Falling Shouldn’t Feel That Way,’ is giving genuine music fans a taste of the real deal and glimpse into his heart to be an artist for change. With silky vocals, a lovable stage presence and a soulful sound that’s been likened to Ed Sheeran, John Mayer and Jack Johnson, Don brings his own brand of percussion‐style guitar play and delightful approachability to every corporate function, gig and festival he plays. …”

For more information and JUNO nominations, visit the official website of the JUNO Awards here.