MUSIC: Trail of Tears

Robbie Robertson pays homage to Native Americans

THIS SHOULD COME AS NO SURprise. The tensile, ravishing songs on Music for the Native Americans have been aborning, under one title or another, since Robbie Robertson's early glory days with the Band. As that seminal group's linchpin, Robertson wrote spooky, spunky and romantic valedictories to the mythic ghosts of American history: rounders and robbers, gamblers and wanderers, the proud, the humble and the haunted.

On this new Capitol album, working with a loose federation of musicians called the Red Road Ensemble, Robertson steps up to his most daunting theme, the tragedy and majesty of the American Indian. He returns from...

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