As this release’s sleevenotes correctly state, this collection could be re-titled A Beginner’s Guide, such is the depth of Sainte-Marie’s catalogue. The 15 tracks are drawn from nine albums, though many would be happy to see the whole first album included. We get just three from it instead: Universal Soldier, Now That The Buffalo’s Gone and Cod’ine.
Thereafter, while maintaining her historical and cultural edge with songs such as the title track and Native North American Child, she roamed wider with I’m Gonna Be A Country Girl Again and well-chosen covers. Among these we find two from Joni Mitchell’s pen, Circle Game and (He Played Me Real Good) For Free; Neil Young’s Helpless; and Mickey Newbury & Townes Van Zandt’s Mister Can’t You See.
If belief in songs can be found in a voice, then surely Sainte-Marie believed in them the most. Her unique voice not only delivered truth and education, but also rich and varied emotions that demanded attention. Certainly one of the most positive and influential artists over the last 50 years, whose work should grace any collection.