Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
A name long absent from the Washington music scene resurfaced Wednesday night in Georgetown. Buffy Sainte-Marie, a household word in the mid-1960s. opened to an enthusiastic crowd at the Cellar Door. It was her first Washington appearance since 1974, and part of a new American tour mounted by Sainte-Marie and her five-man band.
Sainte-Marie's performance is living proof that the 60s are not quite behind us. Despite her disco dress and clunky shoes, Sainte-Marie's material still deals largely with injustice and Indian human rights.
Sainte-Marie manages to blend what she jokingly calls "dicso pow-wow" with songs from the previous incarnation period. "Universal Soldier" and "Now That the Buffalo's Gone," two of Sainte-Marie's strongest protest songs, find a home next to upbeat numbers like "Fancy Dancer" and "Moonshot."
Buffy Sainte-Marie is obviously testing and musical waters with this tour and the combination of a first-rate band and her strong, unforgettable voice and could make it work.
Someone once described Sainte-Marie as a woman capable of singing entire chords. The musical term is "chordal vibrato" and from decade to decade, it is remarkable to hear.