Article originally published at dailyrecord.com Written by Bill Nutt For NJ Press Media
She’s a folk artist, but she’s ventured into electronica and jazz. She’s written pop hits (“Until It’s Time for You to Go,” “Up Where We Belong”), but she’s had years when her songs never were played on the radio.
In a career that began in the early 1960s, Buffy Sainte-Marie has an eclectic catalog, while developing a passionate following. But she says that career happened organically, with little sense of planning.
“I just have a little camera in my head that kind of photographs my dreams and experiences,” she writes in an email. “You never know when you go to sleep what you’re going to dream about, and songwriting is like that for me.”
Sainte-Marie will bring her band to the Ukrainian American Cultural Center in Whippany Saturday night (Jan. 7) as part of the Splatter Concert series.
Sainte-Marie, a member of the Cree tribe, was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1941. From an early age, she knew she was meant to write songs.
“I’ve always loved to do it — better than Barbies or baseball,” she writes. “I saw a piano when I was 3, loved playing with it, had no lessons, and made up songs for the fun of it.”
By her late teens and early 20s, she was listening to a spectrum of music.
“I’ve always been grateful to be around real folk music in the early 1960s,” she writes. “What an inspiration to hear songs that have lasted for generations, touch on eternal human issues for subject matter, and have great memorable melodies.”
Around the middle of that decade, she was performing in Canada and the U.S. Sainte-Marie emerged around the same time as a number of Canadians, including Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen.
“I believe Canadians share a sense of appreciation of nature,” she writes.
Canadians also share “the common human thump of harsh winters and the patient waiting for spring,” she writes.
She adds Bruce Cockburn and k.d. lang to her list of favorite Canadian songwriters.
Throughout the course of several years, Sainte-Marie would combine socially conscious songs (such as “Universal Soldier,” later covered by Donovan) with appearances on “Sesame Street.”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 7)
WHERE: Ukrainian American Cultural Center, 60 N. Jefferson Road, Whippany
TICKETS: $30 ($33 the day of the show); $5 ages 13 to 17; free for ages 12