Friday, September 11, 2015

The Ballad of Katie John

Whiskey Jacks perform an original song written by guitarist and singer Bruce Batten and singing banjo man Roy Corral. The song is a tribute to the late Athabascan Indian elder Katie John, of Mentasta. It commemorates her struggle to establish recognition of the the subsistence fishing rights of the indigenous people of the area at Batzulnetas, their fish camp.

This song has its roots in a decades-old visit Roy made to the John family. We'll have to get Roy to tell you the story some time, but it ends with him staying up all night playing banjo, picking guitar and singing to the Johns after they picked him up while he was hitch hiking in the middle of nowhere, Alaska. 
If you can't see the video, here's a version embedded from YouTube.


Bruce Batten: Lead singing, guitar
Roy Corral: Banjo, Harmony singing
Toni London: Bass
Pam Dunlap-Shohl: Fiddle
Peter Dunlap-Shohl: Dobro

Produced by Evan Phillips


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