Red Earth (band)

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Red Earth
Electric 49.gif
Red Earth Performing in Albuquerque, NM's El Rey Theater
Background information
Origin Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Genres Native American Music, Rock, Funk, World fusion
Years active 1997– ?
Members Ira Wilson - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jeff Duneman - drum set, percussion
Carlo Bluehouse Johnson - lead guitar
John Simms - trumpet, keyboards
Captain Raab - bass, vocals
Blake Minnerly - saxophone, vocals
Past members Charley Baca - lead & rhythm guitar
Kenneth Beaupre - trombone
Monica Delgado - trumpet
Ernesto Encinas - saxophone
John Horse - guitar
Hideki Imai - trombone
Adrian Wall - bass, hand drum
Christian Orellana - percussion, vocals
Jason Botten - trumpet

Red Earth is a 6-10 piece (depending on the year!) Native American Rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico who has released three independent albums.

General information[edit]

Formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the mid-1990s, Red Earth quickly became a local favorite and soon was playing around the Southwest, notably on numerous Indian Reservations and music festivals. True to their diverse Southwest roots, the band combines Indigenous perspectives with energetic combinations of funk, rock, heavy metal, reggae, ska, Latin music, and jazz influences.[1] They dubbed their sound, "Tribal Stew." The band won a Native American Music Award (or NAMMY) for their 1999 debut album, "When Worlds Collide".[2] For the album "When Worlds Collide" they worked with Casper Lomayesva and Third Mesa Music from Phoenix, AZ. In August 2001, the band was invited to perform in Bretagne, France as a part of the 'Chants du Monde' world music festival. They also added to their international performances by playing on several occasions across the border in Mexico.

In 2000, Red Earth released a 5 song EP, "Live!" recorded at the Electric 49. The band spent much of 2002 and early 2003 recording their studio follow up, "Zia Soul", which found them working with Ozomatli's Wil-Dog Abers and musicians ranging from the Navajo Nation to Brazil. The album won "World Music Album of the Year" at the 6th annual Native American Music Awards[3] in 2003. "Zia Soul" received critical acclaim around the Southwest and in Native American music circles, but it remains the band's last studio album. Throughout the years, Red Earth's line-up has changed on several occasions with the addition and departure of different members (see list).

In 2004 the band was invited to perform at the highly publicized opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall in Washington, DC, and the following summer was invited play in New York City at Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Leaving their mark on the New Mexico music scene, Red Earth created and organized the Electric 49, an annual concert that was held during the weekend of the annual Gathering of Nations Pow-wow in Albuquerque. The festival featured Native American rock, hip-hop, and reggae performers.[4] The festival ran from 1998 through 2005.

In 2006 the it was announced there would be no Electric 49 that year, but that the band had not broken up. With several members out of the state of New Mexico, the band has performed only sporadically since 2006. In April 2010, the band performed two highly anticipated reunion shows in Albuquerque during the Gathering of Nations week, and later performed two more shows in Santa Fe during Indian Market week in August. Despite members living in several states, they hope to continue performing when possible.

You can visit the band on Myspace [].


  1. ^ Shively, L.A (May 22, 2003). "Red Earth's tribal stew mellows". Indian Country Today (Four Directions Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  2. ^ Murg, Wilhelm (October 2, 2003). "Red Earth's 'Zia Soul'". Indian Country Today (Four Directions Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  3. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Norrell, Brenda (May 28, 2004). "The electric medicine show". Indian Country Today (Four Directions Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-11-07. 


  1. Rector, Leda "Red Earth - Not Your Cookie Cutter Band" News From Indian Country, January 2004
  2. [1]


  • When Worlds Collide (1999)
  • Red Earth Live (2001)
  • Zia Soul (2003)