Verdell Primeaux is of Oglalla/Yankton Sioux and Ponca heritage and was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Verdell represents the Seven Council Fires of the Lakota and the Eagle Clan of the Ponca Nation. Verdell’s mother, Delores Arapahoe, an Oglalla Lakota, is a descendent of Chiefs Many Horses, Red Cloud and Crazy Horse.
At the age of two, Verdell received Holy Baptism which was performed by his great grandfather, Solomon Red Bear, Sr. By the time he was five, Verdell began singing and learning Lakota culture and tradition. When he was thirteen, Verdell recorded four albums with his father and at the age of sixteen he began composing lyrics and rhythms.
Johnny Mike is a Dine (Navajo) from Kitsili, Black Mesa, Arizona. His maternal clan is Near the Water People and on his father’s side he represents the Salt Clan. He has two children, Rachael and Shane, and resides in Chinle, Arizona. Both sides of his family have been prominent in the Native American Church. Johnny’s grandfathers and grandmothers were some of the first the use peyote within the Navajo nation and at a time when people went to jail for using peyote as a part of the worship of the Native American Church.
Primeaux and Mike’s fourth recording, Walk in Beauty, was a finalist for a 1996 NAIRD India Award. Their sixth recording, Sacred Path, was a finalist for a 1998 AFIM Indie Award. Their seventh recording, Peyote Songs of the Native American Church, was the winner of the 1998 New Age Voice Music Award for Traditional Native American Music and the 1998 Native American Music Awards for Best Traditional Music. Gathering of Voices was a 1999 finalist for an AFIM Indie Award. In 2002 Bless the People won the Grammy for Best Native American Album.
Traditional peyote chants with drum and rattle accompaniment are followed by "healing songs," a newer style of harmonized chanting in Sioux and Navajo without percussion to facilitate meditation. With Verdell Primeaux, Johnny Mike and Robert Attson.
These healing songs in Sioux and Navajo are a newer
style of soothing harmonized chants from the Native
American Church. These songs are meant to provide
spiritual peace to the listener. CD Review called this
album, "...gorgeously pacific..." A 1996 NAIRD Awards
Healing songs are a newer style of soothing harmonized
chanting from the Native American Church (or Peyote
Church) without the accompaniment of the peyote water-drum
or rattle and are meant to facilitate meditation and
prayer and provide comfort and peace for the singers and
listeners. This recording combines the inspiring sound of
healing chants sung by Verdell Primeaux and Johnny Mike
with a backdrop of ambient electronic textures and
sweeping atmospherics. The result is a innovative and
reverent presentation of chants from the time-honored
Native American Church tradition.
Peyote songs, accompanied by rattle and water drum,
are performed as part of the ceremonies of the Native
American Church. These songs were created and sung (some
with Navajo and Sioux words, some with vocables) by two
of today's leading peyote singers, Verdell Primeaux of
the Sioux and Johnny Mike of the Navajo people.
Peyote Songs, accompanied by rattle and water drum, are
musical prayers of the Native American Church. Created and
sung by two of the greatest Native American voices of
today, Verdell Primeaux and Johnny Mike, these harmonized
songs help listeners on the spiritual quest and provide
an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Winner of the 2002
Grammy Award for Best Native American album.