FRI FEB 7
Indigenous BLUES/(ROCK) Indigenous front man, Mato Nanji (Ma-TOE NON-gee), was born and raised on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Mato’s father, the late Greg Zephier, Sr., was a well-known and highly respected spiritual advisor and spokesperson for the International Indian Treaty Council. In addition to this leadership role, he was an accomplished musician and a member of the musical group, The Vanishing Americans. Formed by Greg and his brothers in the ‘60s, The Vanishing Americans toured nationally and shared bills with such legends as Bonnie Raitt. Besides being heavily influenced by the music his father and uncles were making, Mato was exposed to Greg’s vast collection of blues records by legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King. Consequently, Mato embraced and began utilizing his own musical talent at a young age. With the experience, love and wisdom of their father to guide them, Mato, his brother, sister and cousin formed the band Indigenous while in their late teens.
After much time invested in practicing and building a following, they began touring extensively across the country. In 1998, they released their award winning debut album Things We Do. The title track’s video, directed by Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals), won the American Indian Film Festival Award and was shown at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Indigenous’ music caught the attention of blues icon B.B. King and the young band was invited to play on his annual B.B. King’s Blues Tour in 1999. Sadly, Mr. Zephier would pass away before seeing his children receive this great honor.
With momentum gaining, Indigenous’ 2000 sophomore release, Circle, was produced and arranged by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s longtime friend and collaborator, the late Doyle Bramhall, Sr. Three more cds; Fistful of Dirt (2002), Indigenous (2003) and Long Way Home (EP, 2005) would follow before the 2006 decision by the siblings to ‘disband’ and pursue their own musical paths. Mato carried on with the Indigenous name. “Playing with my family for 10 years was a lot of fun, but it was time to grow and keep moving forward.”
Moving forward, Mato continued touring and released Chasing The Sun in 2006, followed in 2008 by Broken Lands. Indigenous featuring Mato Nanji (2012) would mark Nanji’s debut on Blues Bureau International and the beginning of his collaboration with noted producer Mike Varney. In addition to his Indigenous ‘day job’, Mato Nanji has been a member of the annual Experience Hendrix Tour Band since 2002. Playing alongside original Jimi Hendrix band members Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell, the tour roster includes some of today’s blues greats including Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (Double Trouble), Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, and Robert Randolph. Following their 2012 Experience Hendrix Tour, Nanji collaborated with two of his fellow EHT band mates, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), delivering the hard-driving, blues-infused 3 Skulls and the Truth.
Mato hit the ground running in 2013. In January he performed at the American Indian Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama.
February would bring the Mato Nanji-inspired release from trance-blues artist Otis Taylor, My World Is Gone (Telarc). With each new tour, national and international, Mato and the boys continue to attract new audiences and expand the fan base. They look forward to each opportunity to bring the music to long time fans as well as those hearing them for the first time. indigenousrocks.com
w/Beartoe (ROCK) Beartoe has been writing, performing and touring from a homebase in the historic DeLand area of Florida for over 10 years. First, in college under the band name Attic, then as Dish, he was part of a brother duo that found them in the company of LA session players Jen Condos and Jay Bellerose. Since then, Beartoe's solo project has brought together a sound filtered through the roots and rich history of Florida folk, Delta blues and soul. beartoe.com