Marca Cassity

 

 

                        "A songwriter to be reckoned with"- No Depression   

                     "Oozes spirituality and soul"- Curve Magazine

                   "A soulful songstress"- the LA Weekly

              "Life-force flowing through every track"- Folk Words UK

         "Wondrous musical talent"- Northern Spirit Radio

      "A Folk Rock Hurricane"— the Norman Transcript

"Marca's Music Transports You to Soul, Spirit, Consciousness"

— S.F. Bay Area Non Violent Communication


Critically acclaimed Two Spirit recording artist Marca Cassity received an artist grant from the Osage Nation Foundation to make her third studio album Songs from the Well. Marca was honored to be asked to sing her heritage song "Bells" at the inauguration of the Osage Chief Standing Bear. 

 

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Marca Cassity's fourth independent release, "Songs from the Well," is a tribally-funded collection of 11 folk rock spirit songs, that delivers a message of resilience with Native American nuances that speaks to overcoming hardship through connection to nature, humor, love, spirituality, and heritage. The album, recorded at world-renowned Oakland based Fantasy Studios, and produced by Julie Wolf (Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco), features guitarist Adam Levy (Tracy Chapman), bassist Paul Olguin (Mazzy Starr), and drummer Dawn Richardson (4 Non Blondes). For this recording, Marca Cassity was honored to have been recognized by the Osage Nation with a tribal artist grant. 

Growing up on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma, Marca learned early on about resilience. Native, queer, of mixed heritage, and in the midst of the blue-collar bible belt, Marca’s youth was filled with life challenges. Having outgrown her small town, Marca set out on her life’s journey. Becoming a nurse, studying with spiritual teachers and musicians from around world, eventually becoming a critically acclaimed song writer, as well as a trauma counselor for Native American families in San Francisco.

Through her trauma work and spiritual study, Marca became in awe of the human quality of resilience. Always writing and producing music, "Songs from the Well" is Marca’s first album that musically explores resolute human strength, with Native influences, and the reclamation of her heritage as a way of healing. In the past decade, Marca has returned to her heritage in Oklahoma, as an artist and a healer, and the pain of the past along with the joy of the evolution is the wellspring from which her latest album springs forth.

The lead off track “Hallelujah” with its percussive rhythm and sage words, “What appears as a betrayal is truly a guiding light,” shines as a beacon on the overarching theme of the album, meditating on the spiritual aspects of forgiveness that allow one to grow, move forward and “ fully choose life.” Producer Julie Wolf joins in backing vocals on the spirited and liberating “Free” with a chorus reminiscent of her work with the Indigo Girls, and adds her beautiful piano work on the touching ballad “Disasters.” On “Goodbye” and “Raven,” Marca’s love of traditional Osage singing, Native drumming, as well as the writing influences of musical contemporaries such as Joan Armatrading, Mary Gauthier, and Gillian Welch are evident in her songwriting and instrumentation choices, that blend and weave throughout. The closing track "Bells,” is a heritage song, and features the dance bells of traditional Osage dancers. 

The album title “Songs from the Well” was inspired by a cousin’s near death vision of a box of unrecorded songs written by Marca that she found in the well house on her Osage Great-Grandmother's land. After her cousin’s vision, Marca sifted through her song catalog to record this album, and realized these eleven tunes were the songs from the well. The well that allowed her to return full circle, home, and back to her roots.

 

Check out a video of the project.