Cherokee Rose "Buckskin" LP
Performing under the name Cherokee Rose in the 1980s and '90s, Rose's debut release - Buckskin - existed in a sort of suspended-animation: issued as a small run cassette-only demo tape and sold at shows direct to a smattering of fans in 1993. No record label, no distribution. Rose doesn't own a cassette deck on which to play it today. In fact, Rose hadn't heard her earliest recordings in over fifteen years when she was approached with the idea to reissue them. 'I wrote 'Black Irish Indian' in 1980, and released it in 1993, but maybe the song's time and place is actually 2021,' Rose Moore intimates. Such staggering self-awareness and personal reflection should come as no surprise from an artist who has spent decades considering her personal identity, her place within her own various ancestral histories and how she is informed by these three seemingly-disparate backgrounds which unite within her own expression.
Where Buckskin acted as her first demo tape, by the time she went to record To All The Wild Horses a few years later, Rose was fully immersed in a music career. With some support and plays from reservation radio, and consistent touring of coffee shops, art spaces, native cultural events and niche music festivals. However mainstream success still eluded Cherokee Rose. Culturally, there seemed to be an impenetrable barrier from the place Rose was operating, and what at the time in the 90s was considered to be popular by the mainstream. As formats for how music is released and consumed changed over the decades, much of Rose's earliest recorded output was relegated to obscurity simply for the fact that it seemed to exist in a vacuum. Hearing the music that made up Buckskin and To All The Wild Horses today, Rose herself was transported back to the time and place in which the songs were written and recorded. The catharsis of discovering her cultural and racial identity coincided directly with the desire to express those experiences through songs.