Dalannah wants some answers in her powerful new single and video What The Hell Is That? — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“This song is simple in its structure with a message of disdain for what is,” says the Vancouver blues matriarch and veritable force of nature. “It’s a musical commentary on the state we are in. This conspired notion that everything is a commodity and ‘for sale’ in today’s landscape? Some of us who have been through the wars of change, resistance, and honouring our time have gone ‘under cover,’ so to speak, but still holding on to what we hold dear: The ability and opportunity to live beyond the manipulation of society with our core values and beliefs, (and that) every person has the right to live in a land of equality and equal freedoms.”
The song is the latest to come from her fifth and most recent studio album Looking Back. “I am very fortunate at this time in life as I usually get a message from spirit that it is time to do a CD,” Dalannah shares. “All my albums have come from a waking moment where something comes through me. There has always been an underlying theme for my recordings. For Looking Back, I woke up one morning and knew I still had something to say musically at this crucial time. The more I thought about it, I knew that it was — and is — the undeniable fact that we need to take a good look at how we walk on Mother Earth. A good look at how we be. ”
Born of African-Canadian and Cherokee heritage, Dalannah Gail Bowen’s indisputable prowess as a prolific singer, songwriter, actress, playwright, storyteller, event producer, social activist, International Memphis Blues Awards semi-finalist and Blues Hall of Fame Master Blues Artist has secured her standing as a fixture of the blues, rock and soul music-making scene for over 40 years. Critics and colleagues across the board have long been ones to agree; an in-demand vocalist, she has performed alongside or opened for the likes of Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Willie Dixon, as well as The Monkees and The Guess Who during her time with all-female group, The Feminine Touch.
Releases like Mamma’s Got The Blues and Them Menz brought her international critical acclaim, and she can also be heard in a wide range of musical collaborations, including traditional drum group The Snowy Owl Drummers, tribute collective to the world-renowned gospel singer in Songs of Mahalia Jackson, and Billie’s Blues: A Tribute to Billie Holiday. Looking Back takes the dynamic artist’s work in a new direction, with the music drawing more heavily from Dalannah’s own more personal story.
“My journey has led me from an unsettled childhood, to finding music, to getting lost in the trauma, to finding traditional ceremony, and all that that means as far as healing is concerned,” she shares. “My journey as an activist started way back in the ’60s, marching for the anti-apartheid movement and human rights. Women’s rights. Now, at this place and time, I have the opportunity to be a messenger through my music, and through Looking Back. The album also takes a hard look back at our world, and our cultures,” she adds. “It takes a look towards our future, too.”