Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Tehachapi band, Blue Mountain Tribe, wins second Native American Music Award

Grassroots Tehachapi

Local Native American blues band, Blue Mountain Tribe, recently won their second Native American Music Awards honor for their song, "Children on the Rez."

Blue Mountain Tribe was awarded Best Live Performance at a ceremony on Nov. 2 and in 2016, they took the honor of Best Blues Band.

The band includes Caleb Hairston on lead guitar, Robin Hairston who plays harmonica and provides vocals, Pat Mata on drums and James Bixler on bass.

I'm proud of and so impressed by this local band. According to their official bio, their mission is to, "do for the greater good ... through musical performances and charitable works, with special emphasis on Indigenous American talent, Indigenous youth with disabilities and veterans and all wounded warriors."

I spoke to Robin Hairston to learn a little more about the band and their award winning song, "Children on the Rez." Here's a bit of what he had to say.

Q: How does it feel to have won your second NAMA award?

A: We are overwhelmed that we won our second award. It's something that rarely happens. We can't believe it. There were thousands of the best Native bands in our category.

Q: Can you explain the inspiration behind "Children on the Rez"?

A: The inspiration behind our song is so powerful. Throughout the years I have been receiving phone calls and emails from Native families on the Rez telling me that their child or youth had committed suicide. Suicide of youth on reservations is astronomical. This broke my heart, so I wrote a song called "Children on the Rez" to bring hope to the children and youth on the Rez.

Q: Bringing awareness to suicide, especially when it comes to children, is so important. What kind of reaction have you received to the song?

A: Since the song has been released I have received numerous contacts from Native families informing me that their child was suicidal, but after watching the video and listening to the song they changed their minds about suicide. This song has gone viral all over the world.

Q: How long did it take to film the music video? What was the process?

A: Our competitors spent thousands of dollars on their video production. We did it for $200 in a barn. It was the words in the song that inspired people to vote for the song. We went into a recording studio and spent three days on the song.

Q: Is the band currently working on new material?

A: We are currently working on our next CD called, "Oh Great Warrior."

Q: What is your favorite song from your time with Blue Mountain Tribe?

A: My favorite song that we have written is "Children on the Rez."

Robin asks everyone to check out and like their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/bluemountaintribefanclub, to learn more about the band and keep up-to-date with their latest happenings.

Congratulations to the band, you make Tehachapi proud.

See you next time and be kind to one another!

Do you know an inspirational group, individual or program that should be featured in an upcoming Grassroots Tehachapi? Email me at [email protected].