Medicine Crow

Medicine Crow

BandFolkAcoustic

Singer/Songwriter with social/political/spiritual slant.

Biography

Going back to the earliest human communities events, history and traditions were preserved in song. The Gilgamesh epic, the Song of Miriam from Exodus, the stories preserved by the Navajo Singers all the way to the songs written and sung by such giants as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger represent a long tradition of preserving our stories and traditions in song. In that same spirit Michael Iott, known as Medicine Crow, writes and performs topical songs that are observations and commentary on contemporary cultural traditions.

Mike began playing guitar in the 1960’s on a Gibson LG0 acoustic that was passed down to him from his older sister. Over the intervening years he has played many styles of music; folk, blues, rock and light jazz . In the 1980’s he worked with harmonica virtuoso Bill Price in the Iott & Price Band, with bassist Don Diamond in the Sentinels and, during the 1990’s, with Thom Burke and the Last Hippy Band.

Over the years he has shared stages with Tommy Chong, Dr. Hook, Bad Finger, and Bonnie Raitt and with regionally known artists Ghetto Gas John, Miko Fossum, Phil Winterdmute, Stargrazer, Harmonica Buzz, Jeff Baldori, Frog & The Beeftones, Seth Bernard and Daisy May, Jen Sygit, Chara Love, Eric Blades, Perry McDonald and Nicole Good Pierce.

His original songs feature rhythmically driven folk/rock/Acoustic Blues, 12 bar finger style blues, some intricate instrumentals and gentle folk ballads. His songs tend toward the topical rather than the romantic and cover all of those political, religious and social issues we are told to avoid when in polite company.

Medicine Crow currently has six CD releases with Lansing Michigan based Illegible Records: “A much Better Reality” (2006), “Nahnah’s Garden” (2007), Live! (2007), Hymn For Gaia (2008), Logan Street (2009) and Circles 'Round The Sun (2010).

Lyrics

Sometimes

Written By: Michael F. Iott. BMI

Sometimes the sun shines through my window
Sometimes the sun don’t shine at all
Sometimes I know just where I’m going
Some times I make it up as I go
I don’t know if there’s a difference
The destination’s still the same
Sometimes I call out in the darkness
Sometimes I call you by your name

Sometimes I wish that I was single
But most times I’m glad I’m not alone
Sometimes I wish that life was simple
Sometimes I’m as silent as a stone
The way dark and strewn with boulders
But the destination’s still the same
Sometimes I hear a distant echo
Sometimes I hear you call me by my name

(Instrumental Break)

Sometimes the sun shines through my window
Sometimes the sun don’t shine at all
Sometimes I know just where I’m going
Some times I make it up as I go
I don’t know that there’s a difference
The destination’s still the same
Sometimes I call out in the darkness
Sometimes I call you by your name
Sometimes I hear a distant echo
Sometimes I hear you call me by my name
Sometimes I hear you call me by my name

Nahnah's Garden

Written By: Michael F. Iott. BMI

Nahnah’s Garden
© 1992 by Michael Francis Iott, BMI

When this old world looks tired and worn,
And nothing seems to fit.
It’s time to go where hope is reborn,
And relax in Nahnah’s Garden.
All the flowers grow where they will.
They just bloom where they’re planted.
And the bees, in the hot summer air,
Make the songs for Nahnah’s Garden.
Bare feet on the rich earth,
Bare souls seeking new birth,
Open hearts to an open sky,
Gales of laughter floating by.
When you’re tired and you want to go home,
And you’re not sure where that is,
Take a break from your journey alone.
And just rest in Nahnah’s Garden.

Paha Sapa

Written By: Michael F. Iott. BMI

Paha Sapa
1997 by Michael Francis Iott, BMI

Like a green cathedral rising
From the dusty plains below
It’s a good place to find lodge poles
And where healing waters flow
It’s sacred ground to the Kiowa, the Lakota and the Crow
Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa

The Wicasa Wakan climbs a mountain
At the center of the world
And sees the nations in a Sacred Circle gathered down below
And a flaming rainbow frames the Six Grandfathers’ lodge door
And he weeps as he prays for the Nation’s Hoop to be restored
Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa

Ah, but lately it’s been turned into a stinking white man’s hell
With monuments to Custer and with Black Hills gold for sale
Have a mystic vision with a sacred whore
At the Harney Peak Motel
Ah, Tunkashila, unce ma la yelo. Mitakuye oyasin.
Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa

They’ve carved four sacrilegious heads
On a holy peak so tall
But it’s like carving the face of Tiberius Caesar
On the Wailing Wall
And I pray I’ll live to see the day those four stone faces fall
And Paha Sapa be restored as a blessing to us all
Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa
Paha Sapa

Premillennial Homesick Blues

Written By: Michael F. Iott. BMI

Pre-millennial Homesick Blues
1983 by Michael Francis Iott, BMI

Can you tell me if this nightmare journey’s ever gonna end
I hear that there’s a clearing in the jungle up ahead
But here no light gets through
The leaves are wet with dew and there are leaches
On my arms and legs
From that swamp I just went through

In that crucible of humiliation strong men have gone down
They’re lying facedown in the mud
Some have already drowned
But I’m powerless to heed their pleas
The weight of my own burden’s got me crawling on my hands and knees
I’m fighting for my life

Travelers try diplomacy the blitzkrieg rages on
The father of uncertainty has raised a healthy son
He’s devoured better men than me
But in the nick of time I see
That I’m to be his next meal
So I struggle to my feet

The path is marked before me as I plod on toward my goal
I’m trying to keep may guard up for that next crushing blow
I’ll get called out on the carpet
Waiting for that razor knife to trim the edges of my soul
Kicked an stretched till I feel old

I went to that Spartans camp my character to form
But like that Jewish poet who sought shelter from the storm
The tents all had leaky roofs
I fell beneath the horses’ hooves and bruised my youthful pride
A slow train took me for a ride

I wrote down my life story and sold it for a song
It was a fancy tale of space cadet that didn’t last too long
But that story isn’t finished yet
And I’ll count my chickens when they hatch
And Cook ‘em with a butane match
And a grain or two of salt

Hopes and aspirations have fallen by the way
I’m sitting on a dead horse and I’m trying to get away
From the harsh realities of life
But I’ve survived that surgeon’s knife and will do so again
I hope he’s got a steady hand.

Too Many Generals

Written By: Michael F. Iott. BMI

oo many Generals
© 2003 by Michael F. Iott, BMI
There’s too many Generals
And not enough jugglers here
Too many Generals
Not enough Jugglers here
It’s hard to give the world a scare
When you’re keepin’ all them balls in the air
There’s too many Generals
And not enough jugglers here

There’s too many fast talkers
And not enough fiddlers here
Too many fast talkers
Not enough fiddlers here
It’s time to set the rhetoric aside
And rosin up the bow
There’s too many fast talkers
And not enough fiddlers here

There’s too many willfully
Ignorant people ‘round here
Too many willfully
Ignorant people ‘round here
To hear, See, and speak no evil means to
Hear, See and speak no Truth
There’s too many willfully
Ignorant people ‘round here

There’s too many sinners
And not enough saints around here
Too many sinners
and not enough saints around here
You don’t have top be perfect
No, you just have to try
There’s too many sinners
And not enough saints around here

There’s too much fear
And not enough love around here
Too much fear
And not enough love around here
No one’s likely to take your stuff
If everybody’s got enough
There’s too much fear
And not enough love around here

Discography

"A Much Better Reality" 2006
"Nahnah's Garden" 2007
"Medicine Crow Live!" 2007
"Hymn For Gaia" 2008
"Logan Street" 2009
"Circles 'Round The Sun" 2010

Set List

Mostly Original songs with a few selected and adapted traditional and cover songs.
I can play up to eight 45 minute sets without repetition.