Wovoka by Redbone

You all know Redbone, but likely not by name. You will likely recognize this funk rock band for their extremely famous classic “Come and Get You Love” from their album Wovoka.

Wovoka is named after a Native American shaman who was the founder of the Ghost Dance and grew to be heavily involved in a number of Native American beliefs.

The album opens with the self-titled “Wovoka,” a popular song that describes what Wovoka told the Native Americans about Ghost Dance’s requirements and the song does it in such an energetic, groovy way where you cannot help but dance along. The song is also very catchy and has a fun, chantable aspect to it that makes sure it is felt rather than just heard.

Following that is “Sweet Lady of Love,” a funky love song that has classic early 70s characteristics of love, care, and deep passion. “Someday (A Good Song)” is a slow jam that has the makeup for an incredible slow dance song. This one has some great lyrics and smooth instruments to support the vocals just adding to the romantic atmosphere of the song.

The album switches back to funk but is more of a darker tone in the next tune, “Liquid Truth.” The song covers how alcohol was introduced and became a major trade to Natives and had a devastating effect, but one can still turn away from the bottle and beat alcoholism.

Redbone debuted their most known song “Come and Get Your Love” especially since it was featured as a true rock classic in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie and Grown Ups. This song was played on the radio often in 1973 and even in 2014 when it gained popularity again. The song was such a hit that it had a seven-minute version.

“Come and Get Your Love” is a call and respond song about the singer, Lolly Vegas, telling his girlfriend that she is perfect exactly how she is and that his love belongs to her.

After that, the album moves on to “Day to Day Life” which is a combination of a funky vibe and sad lyrics. In one aspect, it can be interpreted in a hopeful way where he can overcome obstacles in life with her.

“Chant Wovoka / Clouds In My Sunshine” is a song that is more openly melancholy but to me seemed more of a positive sound compared to the previous tune. In my opinion, this song seems to have better instrumentals than “Day to Day Life” where it seems more passionate and intense.

To finish off the album, “23rd and Mad” is completely different from the rest of what the album seems to cover. It features an electric guitar, where other songs lacked. My interpretation is that it seems like the song is focusing on what seems to be concern over how dangerous a city can be. This twist seems a weird way to close off the album.

Overall, the whole album is not spectacular, but there are some real gems there. My top picks are definitely “Wovoka,” “Someday,” and “Clouds In My Sunshine.”