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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Digging Roots Release First Album In 5 Years, And... It's A Hot One !

By Jo Prioux. Photo Credit: Jen Squires.

ZHAWENIM (pronounced JAH-WEN-IMM) meaning 'unconditional love' in Ojibway Anishinaabemowiin is coming out Friday June 24, 2022, ZHAWENIM (To Love Unconditionally) is Digging Roots’ 4th album.

The songwriting team of Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish are stronger than ever and have integrated Anishinabek Song Lines and modern production into ZHAWENIM with their co-producer JUNO-award winning Hill Kourkoutis.

This album holds songs of love, for the land, the waters, and for lovers. There is a song on climate change with the rocker ‘SKODEN’. ‘Cut My Hair’, is about the trauma of the Residential School experience and the healing path forward. There are transformative lyrics in ‘AK47’, “I wish I could load love into a gun, peace into a gun, hope into a gun…and fire at everyone”. The album ends with the slow burning ‘Sweetwater’, a song about the revolution of love through water, it closes with an epic guitar solo and a ‘take your time’, long 70’s fadeout. When you listen to ZHAWENIM, you can hear the love that was put into this music.

For the message of universal love of “The Healer”, several award-winning artists, activists, and musicians have collaborated: Alanna Bridgewater, Shakura S’Aida, Serena Ryder, Amanda Rheaume, and Kinnie Starr.

Digging Roots breathe life into songs from their land, Turtle Island, to raise their voices in solidarity with a global chorus of Indigenous artists, activists, and change-makers. For over a decade, JUNO Award winners Digging Roots have traveled the world with a joyful message of resistance, celebrating Anishinaabe and Okwehón:we traditions of round dance and interconnectedness interwoven with the bedrock sounds of blues, soul, and rock n’ roll.

The beating hearts of Digging Roots, founding duo ShoShona and Raven, have built a home for a talented community of players and collaborators including their son, drummer Skye Polson and Hill Kourkoutis. More than a band, Diggings Roots have taken their place at the frontline of the fight for equity and representation in the arts, with involvement in industry advocacy and organization, including the International Indigenous Music Summit and Ishkōdé Records, to empower arts communities worldwide.

Artwork by Feisty Creative.


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