Indigenous pays tribute to father on album

The following story was written and reported by Christina Rose, Native Sun News Associate Editor. All content © Native Sun News.


Greg Zephier, in the jean jacket, 1981, with his family. Zephier is Mato Nanji’s father, for whom Nanji has named his new album. COURTESY/Dick Brancroft 1981


“Indigenous” guitarist Mato Nanji talks about his father, Greg Zephier, and his influence on the new album,“Vanishing Americans.” Courtesy/Mato Nanji

Mato Nanji reflects on new album origins
By Christina Rose

Native Sun News Associate Editor YANKTON — Mato Nanji, Ihanktowan Nakota, the songwriter-guitarist-lyricist of the ever-evolving band, Indigenous, is home on the Yankton Reservation after an East Coast tour.

The band is promoting their new album, “Vanishing Americans,” which was just released last week. Nanji is resting up for week or so before heading out for a follow-up West Coast tour. He admitted it was good to be home.

“Vanishing Americans” is the group’s 10th commercial album, featuring 13 tracks with songs that run the gamut from love and hope lost-to hope-to love regained and found anew.

The album takes much of its lead from Nanji’s father Greg Zephier, who was a well-known spiritual advisor and spokesperson for the International Indian Treaty Council, a United Nations organization based in New York City. Zephier passed away in 1998, but he left his mark as an influential activist and was, according to Nanji, a musical genius.

“My dad was my biggest influence,” Nanji said in a Native Sun News interview. “He pointed me in the right direction, and I am honored to have had that kind of father.” Reflecting on his father’s activist and musical influence, Nanji said, “I grew up listening to Rhythm and Blues and now I try to mix it all into one.”

Mato Nanji of the Blues/Rock band Indigenous stopped by our studios Thursday (March 14) to help promote their show at Royal River Casino in Flandreau, SD Saturday night (March 16)

Nanji is a South Dakota boy, born and raised and continues to call our state ‘home’ despite leading a band that tours the country and being one of the most sought-after guitar players.

Last Tuesday night (March 12) Nanji was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour, a group of world class musicians that come together every spring for a short tour, playing the music of Jimi Hendrix. The Hendrix estate asked him to join the first tour nearly a decade ago, and continues to ask him to come back to share the stage with other guitarists like Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi All-Stars and MANY more.

The tour has also led to friendships and working relationships as evidenced by the 2012 release of 3 Skulls and the Truth with Hidalgo and Dickinson. Nanji also brought me the new Otis Taylor CD My World Is Gone which he’s featured on. Nanji says he’s known Taylor for almost 20 years, but that Taylor had come to one of the ‘Experience’ shows and backstage told him about the concept of a new album. Months later Taylor called Nanji, told him that he was the inspiration behind the new CD and wanted him to come play on it. After the Experience Hendrix tour, Mato will hit the road for an east coast tour with Taylor and there is talk of a European tour later this year.

But don’t think that he’s forgotten about Indigenous! He told me he’s finished a new CD that should be released late spring/early summer with his current bandmates, Charles Sanders and Derek Post.

I’ve known Mato for over 15 years now and been a fan from the first time I heard he and his family perform. He’s one of the softest-spoken stars I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and get to know. Like many of the Blues men and women that I’ve talked to, it’s all about the music, not about being rich and famous.

Since he’s going to be out on the road so much with all these tours, they may not have another show in the area this year. It’d be great to see a full house at Royal River Casino Saturday night. Showtime is 7:30 and tickets are just $5. I know I’ll be there. Nowhere else I’d rather be.



Read More: Mato Nanji of Indigenous Interview [VIDEO] | http://b1027.com/mato-nanji-of-indigenous-interview-video/?trackback=tsmclip

Mato Nanji of Indigenous Interview
By Crash


Mato Nanji of the Blues/Rock band Indigenous stopped by our studios Thursday (March 14) to help promote their show at Royal River Casino in Flandreau, SD Saturday night (March 16)

Nanji is a South Dakota boy, born and raised and continues to call our state ‘home’ despite leading a band that tours the country and being one of the most sought-after guitar players.

Last Tuesday night (March 12) Nanji was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour, a group of world class musicians that come together every spring for a short tour, playing the music of Jimi Hendrix. The Hendrix estate asked him to join the first tour nearly a decade ago, and continues to ask him to come back to share the stage with other guitarists like Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Gales, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi All-Stars and MANY more.

The tour has also led to friendships and working relationships as evidenced by the 2012 release of 3 Skulls and the Truth with Hidalgo and Dickinson. Nanji also brought me the new Otis Taylor CD My World Is Gone which he’s featured on. Nanji says he’s known Taylor for almost 20 years, but that Taylor had come to one of the ‘Experience’ shows and backstage told him about the concept of a new album. Months later Taylor called Nanji, told him that he was the inspiration behind the new CD and wanted him to come play on it. After the Experience Hendrix tour, Mato will hit the road for an east coast tour with Taylor and there is talk of a European tour later this year.

But don’t think that he’s forgotten about Indigenous! He told me he’s finished a new CD that should be released late spring/early summer with his current bandmates, Charles Sanders and Derek Post.

I’ve known Mato for over 15 years now and been a fan from the first time I heard he and his family perform. He’s one of the softest-spoken stars I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and get to know. Like many of the Blues men and women that I’ve talked to, it’s all about the music, not about being rich and famous.

Since he’s going to be out on the road so much with all these tours, they may not have another show in the area this year. It’d be great to see a full house at Royal River Casino Saturday night. Showtime is 7:30 and tickets are just $5. I know I’ll be there. Nowhere else I’d rather be.

anji of Indigenous Interview [VIDEO]



Read More: Mato Nanji of Indigenous Interview [VIDEO] | http://b1027.com/mato-nanji-of-indigenous-interview-video/?trackback=tsmclip

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