Rik Leaf & Tribe of One

Rik Leaf & Tribe of One

BandWorldAmericana

Tribe of One is a group of 4 artists who combine world-roots music, spoken word poetry, Aboriginal dancers and live action painting, drawing on their English, French, Metis and First Nation cultures to create an incredibly rich, one-of-a-kind concert experience.

Biography

Tribe of One
“The consummate art experience” Uptown Magazine
Tribe of One is a group of 4 unique artists who combine their creativity and cultures to create an incredibly rich, one-of-a-kind concert experience. Rik Leaf is a recording artist and slam poet who has been featured on six internationally released compilation CDs in addition to four of his own. Rik is joined by Marie-Josee Dandeneau, a Metis multi-instrumentalist and long-time musical collaborator. Playing over a dozen instruments between them, Rik and MJ layer First Nation pow-wow drums, hand drums, didgeridoo and ocarinas over Rik’s percussive acoustic guitar playing and MJ’s soulful, funk fretless/upright bass to create their unique World Roots sound.
Buffy Handel, an Anishinabe performer and one of Canada’s top Aboriginal dancers uses hoop, fancy shawl, jingle, salsa and capoeira to physically interpret the songs through a combination of traditional and contemporary choreography. Professional visual artist and performance painter, Tina Newlove completes a painting from start to finish throughout the show. Tribe shows are designed with enough colour, sound and movement to engage every sense simultaneously.

“I was actually moved to tears, stricken with emotion and the beauty of not only the music and the visuals, but of the message they so effortlessly convey. I have never seen a group that could at once, be both joyous and driving, yet dark and haunting. The amount of sound coming off the stage was incredible, and the dancers complimented that sound perfectly.” Ken Jaworski, Artistic Director, Brandon Folk Festival

“Rik’s latest CD is artistically excellent and spiritually uplifting. It is music that resonates emotionally and provides a window into the soul of our nation.” Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Member of Parliament, Winnipeg North

Click the link at the bottom of this page for a performance video or visit www.rikleaf.com for more information.

Reviews

"...you have joined with an elite group of rising stars representing the best and brightest Aboriginal recording artists from across the country. It is my pleasure to extend my support, encouragement and sincere best wishes to Tribe of One.
- Eric Robinson, Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism & Sport

"Rik Leaf has carefully positioned himself as a songwriter on the margins speaking hope to the disenfranchised and dispirited. This album represents a maturing of that voice and a musical presence that gives us ears to hear. "
- Brent Nelson, Ph.D. English Professor, English Department, University of Saskatchewan

‘The sheer number of instruments onstage – all played by two people – coupled with Leaf’s interest in Aboriginal sounds and culture invite comparisons to Australian artist Xavier Rudd.” Bryan Birtles, Edmonton’s Vue Weekly

“Buoyed by a swooping, elastic voice that recalls Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield, Leaf dabbles in Celtic-sounding folk-rock, piano-based acoustic gems, funky dance jams and straight-ahead guitar rockers, all with a level of gutsy aplomb and intensity that belies his background as an activist. If this is winter to Rik Leaf, we can’t wait for the first signs of spring.” David Schmeichel – Winnipeg Sun

“now is the winter of our discontent is the creation of a thoughtful poet with a gift for words.” – Mike Warkentin

“Rik Leaf is most clearly a musical innovator. Given the inviting space of a whole solo album, Rik imaginatively conjures a variety of edgy sounds… musically this album twists and turns from track to explorative track. The result is not a pretentious and inharmonious melee of noises, but an intriguing 60 minute tapestry of true diversity/ingenuity.” – Tom Lennie – GoldUSA.com

“It's mellow tune-making that travels effortlessly into jump-up-and-get-down territory.” – Marg Lagton – Hamilton Spectator


Lyrics

The Maple Leaf

Written By: Rik Leaf

The Maple Leaf
Rik Leaf, 2008 SOCAN

As the harbor draws near the Pacific disappears
In the bight lights of Vancouver
From the bay we make our way along the highway
And start to climb from sea to sky
Before we leave we make a point of eating cherries from the tree
And drinking wine in the Okanagan
As we pass through Banff we have our first chance to see
A prairie sky set on fire far and wide
Underneath the maple leaf
We are drawn together
Underneath the maple leaf
We are one
We set sail and for days we cross the endless waves of wheat
That crash against the shore under our wheels
Outside the Sault the sun breaks through the fog
As we cut our rugged path along north Superior
We wind our way through narrow lanes in old Quebec
To look across the sea way from Le Château Frontenac
You can almost hear the sounds of 1759
Echoing across the Plains of Abraham
Then we walk the white sand along the beach at Martinique
Eating mussels and drinking Alexander Keith’s
We raise a toast at the edge of the Atlantic coast
To the new found land where it all began
So raise your voice from the west to the east
To the truth north strong and free

Hope

Written By: Rik Leaf

Hope
Rik Leaf, 2008

Put your hope in The Man he gonna let you down every time
Put your hope in The Man he gonna let you down every time
Oh yeah you know he’ll change his name
But the story always stays the same
For all that time has stripped away
That’s the one thing that’ll never ever change
Got to build your home with a hope
With a hope that’ll let you dream
Got to hold onto a hope gonna make you believe
She’ll turn your world all upside down
You can touch the stars with your feet on the ground
Search with all your heart and soul cause if you find her son
You find pure gold
Hope gonna come gonna shake this town
Hope gonna turn it all upside down
Hope gonna come gonna rescue me
Here I am and hope’s coming for me

Je Me Souviens

Written By: Rik Leaf & Marie-Josee Clement

Je Me Souviens
Rik Leaf/Marie-Josee Clement, 2008
In our hearts a thousand threads unwind
The tangled web is the tie that binds
Pulling us together as we’re tearing apart
Trying to find the centre not knowing where to start
Tonight I feel hopeful caught here in a moment
Knowing we’ve chosen so much more
Tonight falling in caught up in
Knowing we’ve been so much more
We cracked the glass we cannot repair
All our broken pieces held there in the mirror
In the silence there is so much to hear
So many things worth fighting for so many to fear
Tonight I feel hopeful caught here in a moment
Knowing we’ve chosen so much more
Tonight falling in caught up in
Knowing we’ve been so much more
Je me souviens
Je me souviens de ton odeur de tes cicatrices
Le parcours de notre histoire
Gravé dans ma mémoire
Pour ne rien oublié
Je tiens ma parole
Je me souviens souviens souviens
Ont se détourne je tourne je tourne je tourne pour toi
Consommé lié empiégé je me souviens
Même quand on s’oppose je tombe pour toi
Même quand on se lutte je tombe pour toi
Je tombe je tombe je tombe je suis tombé de toi
Je perds la raison mais je suis tombé de toi
Je tiens ma parole alors je suis tombé de toi
Je tombe je tombe je tombe je suis tombé de toi

River City

Written By: Rik Leaf

After all the miles that have passed by under the wheels
I read the signs and find I’m finally here
Our story lines the city streets as seasons turn inside you and me
I find my way all the way to you
Coming home
I picture a postcard…painting memories
Coming home
Where candles line windows to light the way for me
I walk along the river’s edge as traffic pours over Bluewater Bridge
If you asked me I’d tell you I love this place
Like a ship searching for open sea time and again time carries me
To the heart of this river city
The hand of the river carries the broken the lost and forgotten
The bruised and the bleeding all of us needing
Those healing hands of love

Silver Lining

Written By: Rik Leaf

Barefoot in broken glass and ruined promises
Darkness from the past bleeds through our bandages
As I press myself against the wound
The dark night could be our silver lining
There’s a candle in a window burning
You can find it
A new day dawning to discover
There’s a new revolution
Calling sons and daughters
The story’s in the lines
Scattered thoughts and ruined lives
Beauty is in remembering
Where we’re going and where we’ve been
The future is in you and me
The dark night could be our silver lining

Awake in the World

Written By: Rik Leaf

No miracle drug no magic plan
No bright light here tonight
Just you and me honey is what we’ve got
Get together that’s saying a lot
What started easy is getting hard
Ever dream we’d make it this far?
There’s more to our story more to be said
More to be written and more to be read
In the pain and the struggle buried in the rubble
We find ourselves a light in the tunnel
Living it up like we got the truth
Living it out in the black and blue
What started easy is getting hard
Ever dream we’d make it this far?
There’s more to our story more to be said
More to be written and more to be read
World – Awake in the world
World - Waking the world
More to our story more to be said
More to be written and more to be read
The dirty little secret hanging in the room
You need me and I need you
The dirty little secret filling up the room
You need me and I need you
We’re going to make them feel it
We’re going to make them see
We’re going to make them reach out
When we wake the world

Lonely

Written By: Rik Leaf

Lost and alone your fingers worn from holding on
To a hope that’s been torn through suffering
Your glory grows like a rose in a field of thorns
Deep in the dark night of the soul
Lonely life can feel so lonely
Hold me and the night won’t feel so long
Lonely life can feel so bare
Through the black and blue
Your beautiful bleeds right through
It’s the light that shines in you
Jesus hangs in a picture frame on the wall behind me
In the paint a saint is revealed in suffering
Faintly drawn in the shape of a memory
I remember when his ghost used to haunt me
Lonely life can be so lonely
(with the world hanging on my shoulders)
Hold me and the night won’t feel so long
(carry me away)
Lonely life can be so bare
Through the black and blue your beautiful bleeds right through
The light that shines in you
When the scars are all that’s left of the hurting
Buried deep underneath…your suffering
Lay your heart here on my altar
Stay until you are healed

Blue Skies

Written By: Rik Leaf

I remember when you and I were younger
Dreaming of the world we’d discover
Things never really turned out that way
But when I look around I still feel the same
There’s beauty you can see and some you’ve got to be
When blue skies are growing the red river’s flowing
There’s a little bit of heaven here for you and me
Years have past as we’ve grown together
As summer days are sliding by the window
We know more than we did then
We’ve learned to give and let life in
Remember when you and I discovered
The world we could make together
There’s beauty you can see
There’s some you can be

Mama

Written By: Rik Leaf

Mama they’re selling us out
Hook line and sinker they’re going to sink us one and all
These crazy bastards have thrown wide the door
Put out a sign on the country that says ‘everything must go’ oh Mama no…
Mama wouldn’t you know
We just walk out of a scandal right into a fiasco
These crazy bastards get drunk on their own power
Start acting like God partying hard at happy hour…oh Mama no…
Oh Mama no…
Mama they’re selling our soul
Out on the open market where futures are bought and sold
These crazy bastards that hijack a faith
Turn Mohammad into a madman and Jesus into a beast…oh Mama no…
No, no, no-no-no-no….
Mama how can you stand
Being a powerful woman in a world of weak willed men
I’ve tried to see the world the way they have
But I can’t get my head far enough up my own ass…oh Mama no…

Lyrics for Entire CD

Written By: Rik Leaf

Track Listing
The Maple Leaf
Hope
Silver Lining
River City
Je Me Souviens
Awake in the World
Lonely
Blue Skies
Mama
Democracy in Drag
Under Stars & Streetlights
Beau Sommeil

1.
The Maple Leaf
Rik Leaf, 2008

As the harbor draws near the Pacific disappears
In the bight lights of Vancouver
From the bay we make our way along the highway
And start to climb from sea to sky
Before we leave we make a point of eating cherries from the tree
And drinking wine in the Okanagan
As we pass through Banff we have our first chance to see
A prairie sky set on fire far and wide
Underneath the maple leaf we are drawn together
Underneath the maple leaf we are one
We set sail and for days we cross the endless waves of wheat
That crash against the shore under our wheels
Outside the Sault the sun breaks through the fog
As we cut our rugged path along north Superior
Underneath the maple leaf we are drawn together
Underneath the maple leaf we are one
We wind our way through narrow lanes in old Quebec
To look across the sea way from Le Château Frontenac
You can almost hear the sounds of 1759
Echoing across the Plains of Abraham
Then we walk the white sand along the beach at Martinique
Eating mussels and drinking Alexander Keith’s
We raise a toast at the edge of the Atlantic coast
To the new found land where it all began
So raise your voice from the west to the east
To the truth north strong and free

2.
Hope
Rik Leaf, 2008
Put your hope in The Man he gonna let you down every time
Put your hope in The Man he gonna let you down every time
Oh yeah you know he’ll change his name but the story always stays the same
For all that time has stripped away that’s the one thing that’ll never ever change
Got to build your home with a hope with a hope that’ll let you dream
Got to hold on to a hope gonna make you believe
She’ll turn your world upside down you can touch the stars with your feet on the ground
Oh search with all your heart and soul cause if you find her son you’ll find pure gold
Hope gonna come gonna shake this town hope gonna turn it all upside down
Hope gonna come gonna rescue me here I am and hope’s coming for me

3.
Silver Lining
Rik Leaf, 2008
Barefoot in broken glass and ruined promises
Darkness from the past bleeds through our bandages
As I press myself against the wound
The dark night could be our silver lining
There’s a candle in a window burning
You can find it
A new day dawning to discover
There’s a new revolution
Calling sons and daughters
The story’s in the lines
Scattered thoughts and ruined lives
Beauty is in remembering
Where we’re going and where we’ve been
The future is in you and me
The dark night could be our silver lining

4.
River City
Rik Leaf, 2007
After all the miles that have passed by under the wheels
I read the signs and find I’m finally here
Our story lines the city streets as seasons turn inside you and me
I find my way all the way to you
Coming home
I picture a postcard…painting memories
Coming home
Where candles line windows to light the way for me
I walk along the river’s edge as traffic pours over Bluewater Bridge
If you asked me I’d tell you I love this place
Like a ship searching for open sea time and again time carries me
To the heart of this river city
The hand of the river carries the broken the lost and forgotten
The bruised and the bleeding all of us needing
Those healing hands of love

5.
Je Me Souviens
Rik Leaf/Marie-Josée Clement, 2008
In our hearts a thousand threads unwind
The tangled web is the tie that binds
Pulling us together as we’re tearing apart
Trying to find the centre and not knowing where to start
Tonight I feel hopeful caught up in a moment
Knowing we’ve chosen much more
Tonight we’re falling in caught up in
Knowing we’ve been so much more
We cracked the glass we cannot repair
All our broken pieces are held there in the mirror
In the silence there is so much to hear
So many things worth fighting for so many to fear
Tonight I feel hopeful caught up in a moment
Knowing we’ve chosen so much more
Tonight were falling in caught up in
Knowing we’ve been so much more
Je me souviens
Je me souviens de ton odeur de tes cicatrices
Le parcours de notre histoire gravé dans ma mémoire
Pour ne rien oublié je tiens ma parole
Je me souviens
Ont se détourne je tourne je tourne je tourne pour toi
Consommé lié empiégé je me souviens
Même quand on s’oppose je tombe pour toi
Même quand on se lutte je tombe pour toi
Je tombe je tombe je tombe je suis tombé de toi
Je perds la raison mais je suis tombé de toi
Je tiens ma parole alors je suis tombé de toi
Je tombe je tombe je tombe je suis tombé de toi

6.
Awake in the World
Rik Leaf, 2008
No miracle drug no magic plan
No bright light here tonight
Just you and me honey is what we’ve got
Get together that’s saying a lot
What started easy is getting hard
Ever dream we’d make it this far?

Discography

Rik Leaf 'Tribe of One' 2009
World Roots music featuring English, French, First Nation and Metis musicians and singers.

"...now is the winter of our discontent" 2006 Full-length independent release, engineered, produced and recorded by Rik Leaf at Tribe of One's Cellar Studio in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

‘Foolscap’ 2003, Rik Leaf & Kim McMechan, Independent Release
(Empty Bottles, Lay Down Lover, Precious Little, Sometimes, Sweep Me Away)

‘The Mystery’, 2002 Compilation CD, Vineyard Music Canada, (internationally distributed, CMC Distribution Canada, EMI, U.S., World, BMG Entertainment, COPYCARE, Sweden, U.K., Spirit Music, South Africa) (Every Day, I’ve Got a Friend, Rescue Me, Oh Lord, I Believe)

‘in 2 deep 2 stand’, 2000 Full Length Solo CD, (national distribution, CMC Distribution)

‘Trailerpark Opera’, 1998, Full Length Tribe of One CD, (national distribution, CMC Distribution) Included book of original poetry, song charts, paintings, and interactive CD-ROM featuring performance videos, virtual art gallery.

‘Fragrant Oil’, 1998 Compilation CD, Howling Prairie Records (internationally distributed, Vineyard Music Group, CMC Distribution) (Gift to be Real, Create in Me)

Set List

Featured Performances
2 - 60 minute sets + encore