Americana Highways presents this premiere of “Turn Toward The Sun,” co-produced by Diane Patterson and Roman Morykit, with Morykit also mixing and mastering, with cover art by Lindy Kehoe, from Patteron’s upcoming album Satchel of Songs. “Turn Toward The Sun” is Diane Patterson on vocals and guitar, and Roman Morykit on electric guitars and fretless bass.
Acoustic guitar up close and clean with plenty of space launches you into sober lyrics and emotional vocals about the depth of being human. Some songwriters tell vague tales, but Patterson hits you with clear, direct historical truths in “Turn Toward the Sun.” In a poignant tribute to the buffalo and people of Standing Rock, North Dakota, Patterson delivers with an upswell: “She won’t forget the buffalo or the sacrifice they bring; She says, Turn toward the sun, remember who you are”
“Turn Toward The Sun” was written for Dakota woman Geraldine Mcmanus and the buffalo of Standing Rock. I met Geraldine in October 2016 during a brief visit to the Standing Rock Water Protectors’ camp in North Dakota. Thousands of indigenous peoples had come together, from all over the US and around the world, to stop big oil from building the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would compromise the huge freshwater aquifer there at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers. When I met Geraldine again about 8 months later, she asked me to write a song that would tell the story of the buffalo coming to help the people protect the water at Standing Rock. She spoke to me for several hours about the vision she’d had, that the buffalo would come and help the cause. She told me they did come to Standing Rock during the fall, and then again in the winter. The song tells it, but only 8 or 9 water protectors were there that deep winter day when Geraldine’s vision came true. The buffalo broke the fence and ran into the camp, and some of them even died for the cause that day. The story of this great sacrifice is going out as we sing, and tell, and re-member the infinite generosity of the noble buffalo. The whole world is watching. Water is Life. — Diane Patterson