Jun 10, 2019liljables rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m going to be honest and start by saying I knew next-to-nothing about Buffy Sainte-Marie before reading her biography, so I guess it’s kind of odd that I picked up this book in the first place. But, I had motivation: I had heard the author, Andrea Warner, interviewed on one of my favourite podcasts, Secret Feminist Agenda, and it was clear that she had fallen deeply in love with Buffy during the process of writing the book. Her obvious admiration and respect for Sainte-Marie convinced me that this was a biography worth reading, and I wasn’t disappointed!
I was completely blown away by the trajectory of Sainte-Marie's five-decades-and-counting career as a musician and activist. As someone who claims to know something about music from the '60s and '70s, I'm ashamed to admit that I really had no idea what sort of impact Buffy had on the landscape of folk, rock, and pop. She penned songs that would become standards recorded by many more famous acts, often with little or no credit (in fact, many of her songs are mis-credited to - you guessed it - white dudes!). Buffy was and is also working tirelessly as an advocate for Indigenous people, labouring to decolonize the music and film industries before the term "decolonization" was widely known.
Now 78 years old, Buffy Sainte-Marie is still making groundbreaking music and involving young Indigenous musicians in every project. Do yourself a favour and pick up this book, but don't speed through it: when the author mentions a song, put the book down and google it! Listening to Buffy's music as I read really enhanced my reading experience.