7 little wonders

Paha Sapa
(Song of the Black Hills)

video by Tim Coursen, photographer and editor
thanks to: Nick St. Nick (Steppenwolf), David R. (engineer- Prince)

AHBLEZA Band Members

  • Nathan Muus
  • Jamison Mahto
  • Fred Veilleux
  • Mike Rivard
  • Carlos Roque

The band consisted of leaders Jamison Mahto (Red Lake Ojibwe/Lakota) on guitar and vocals; and Fred Veilleux (Leech Lake Ojibwe) on keyboards. Fred and Jamison wrote and sang lead on much of the original material. Mike Rivard contributed pulsating bass in conjunction with drummer Jose Cousins. (Mike played with Doug Maynard and Willie and the Bees among others). Nathan Muus, who also played with Cortez and Cherokee Rose, and others, rounded out the band on sax/flute and vocals.

In this rare live footage of the band at the University of Minnesota, they perform their then hit song “Paha Sapa-Song of the Black Hills”, written and sung by Nathan Muus. Nathan ties this Native style traditional singing to his Sami family influence. The Sami call traditional singing “yoik”. Carlos Roque, then Shangoya Band’s drummer, fills in for Jose on drums in this performance. Yes the band got radio and TV exposure. Yes they self destructed at some point. Jose Cousins sadly has passed on. Jamison continues as a beat poet extraordinaire, and promoter of Native music. Fred continues to be involved in Native education and in songwriting. Mike still does video and music- as always. Nathan continues in seeking the Sami- American Indian connections through music…. he is working on a retrospective collection of his music spanning over 25 years….