Article By Mary Cantell Correspondent Montgomerynews
Calling the intemporal Buffy Sainte-Marie a singer-songwriter is like calling the pope just a guy who wears a white robe. I caught up with her at her home in Hawaii, where she lives “among the chickens and goats” (think rural ambrosia). She was in the middle of making some tangerine juice, which may account for her high-energy mode despite her senior-citizen age status. Does it matter the number? Ok, Seventy.
While her stunning influence on the music scene began in the ’60s with songs incorporating peace and love that turned into international hits (“Universal Soldier” and “Until It’s Time for You to Go”), she moved audiences (and may have pricked the sensibilities of some government administrators during the Vietnam years) with her music and activist mindset. Not one to bow and sway to the masses, the iconoclastic Native American has always done it her way.
“I’m like an overgrown kindergartner,” she said with a chuckle. “There were a lot of things you shouldn’t [have done] in the ’60s.When they said it wasn’t proper to dance or go to the gym — women don’t do those things — I did.”
Over the years, she’s turned her creative sandbox into a creative lifestyle. Since hitting the music scene just out of college along with global gigs and making albums (20 and counting), she’s appeared live on “Sesame Street” for five years (her son, Dakota, often on camera with her), earned a Ph.D. in fine arts, and has been active in promoting her Native-American heritage through education and philanthropy.
She’s also won a string of awards for her musical achievements, including an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for “Up Where We Belong” (“An Officer and a Gentleman”).
But it’s not all about the music for her. Even now, she remains passionate about learning and works closely with her foundation. Her greatest achievement is not her awards but watching others mimic her earlier philanthropic efforts, much like she did when she offered scholarships to them many years ago.
“My life has been a connecting-the-dots between indigenous realities and whatever the world has to offer. I’m a bridge between Native America and the rest of the world.”
Today, Sainte-Marie is preparing for another worldwide tour in 2012 with a musical stop scheduled in January at Sellersville Theater.
“I’m looking forward to the concert. They might come to hear things from the ’60s or the ’70s, and they’ll be surprised by the range of the repertoire.”
To accompany the high-energy performer will be her band mates — Leroy Constant, vocals, bass; Jesse Green, guitar; and Mike Bruyere, vocals, drums. Songs of love, passion and tragedy round out the eclectic set.
Her latest CD, “Running for the Drum,” with upbeat songs like “Starwalker” and “No No Keshagesh,” also includes a DVD that contains a rare peek into her life that you might not otherwise know. The CD has earned 12 major music awards in Canada.
Sainte-Marie lives by many principles, including a favorite: “Keep your nose to the joy trail.” She believes that throughout life, there are some who will tell you what you want isn’t on the menu. “Cook it up yourself and then prepare to serve them. Each one of us has gifts.”
If you go:
will be performing
at Sellersville Theater 1894
Main St. and Temple Ave.,
Sellersville, PA 18960,
Sunday, Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $29.50 & $45.