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Nahko And Medicine For The People - A Marathon of Healing In Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Nahko And Medicine For The People is a band with a collective vision that sees and values music as a powerful redemptive, connecting and healing force. Fronted by the charismatic Nahko Bear this multi-cultural line-up blends a variety of sounds and styles. Nahko's albums paired with his live performances are a much needed modern day medicine-show rooted in social and spiritual healing. Nahko And Medicine For The People brought their restorative revue to the Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Tennessee on October 18, 2019.

Nahko And Medicine For The People - A Marathon of Healing In Nashville
Nahko And Medicine For The People at Marathon Music Works.

Nahko And Medicine For The People each have unique stories with Bear's being one of the most intriguing. He was adopted at birth and raised by a conservative Christian family. At age 17, he left Portland, Oregon to pursue his calling which included trips to Alaska and Hawaii. The "Take Your Power Back" Tour is the latest chapter in Nahko's voyage to rediscover himself through music which has helped him process life's challenges, while opening himself up to compassion and thus creating a platform for action. Nahko hopes that his curative perspective will motivate others to "Take Their Power Back".

"Naming this the 'Take Your Power Back' Tour felt entirely appropriate given the state of the planet," Nahko said. He invites people to "arrive at our gathering this fall with whatever shape your heart is in - full, broken, in pieces, strong, hopeful, hurting, overflowing - all of it" and by the end of the concert perhaps leave on a higher plane or at least highly entertained. During the show he encouraged people to examine how they address themselves and in turn how they address the world reminding his Medicine Tribe to take their power back.

Nahko And Medicine For The People - A Marathon of Healing In Nashville
Nahko was charismatic and captivating in Music City.

"Ready to move with me," Nahko shouted as he stood on one of the blocks that spelt out "Take Your Power Back". Soon everyone was singing and swaying while calling and responding with Bear. In the meantime, Medicine For The People was adding potent punch to Nahko's prose. Yet, even during the more pensive pieces Bear had a strong stage presence.

Medicine For The People has created not just a community but a movement of shared ideals that includes the group, music, their followers along with organizations such as Honor The Earth, Amazon Watch, and Indigenous Regeneration. Nahko's compelling story has led him to a connection with nature that has played a pivotal role throughout his journey, introducing him to his band mates and inspiring him in the live setting where he shines.

Nahko And Medicine For The People - A Marathon of Healing In Nashville
Nahko was all smiles in Nashville and overcame pre-show nerves with a lot of laughter.

In Nashville, Nahko And Medicine For The People gave a show that was energized and engaging with music that melded elements of hip-hop with 1960's folk rock insights. In addition to traditional rock instruments a fiddle, horn and trombone enhanced their vibrant sound. For much of the night fans were dancing and singing to Nahko's rapid fire vocal delivery. Yet, the audience remained attentive in the serious more soothing moments where it was just Bear playing either guitar or keys but when the band returned the room was buzzing again.

"I think our music promotes the bridging of all tribes," Nahko says. "The lyrics and the stories and our energy as a group break down people's walls. I think that's the most important thing you can do with music". Nahko accomplished this with a set that mixed new material with fan favorites such as "Aloha Ke Akua", "Budding Trees", "Build A Bridge", "Love Letters To God", "Take Your Power Back" and more. Interestingly, Nahko's set included snippets of covers by Sting and Guns N' Roses. With a surprising final encore of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" Nahko sent his adherents home with warmer hearts and activated minds. From our vantage point Medicine For The People inspired and invigorated with a Marathon of healing music in Nashville.

Nahko And Medicine For The People - A Marathon of Healing In Nashville
Nahko and the band bent over backwards to please in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on NAHKO BEAR and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Nahko And Medicine For The People | Marathon Music Works


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