Mission Statement:
Willeto Records, L.L.C. is an independent Indigenous First Nation record label/company exclusively devoted to promoting the music of Saul.

Willeto Music Publishing, L.L.C is the official publisher for all Saul compositions.

Willeto Music Publishing, L.L.C. and Saul are members of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

License and Recording:
Musicians, Singers and Motion Picture Music Directors can obtain a license from Willeto Music Publishing, L.L.C. and Saul for recording purpose. Contact Willeto Records, L.L.C for more information on obtaining a music license.

CD Review: Paul Willeto’s “The Mourn Day After (A Memorial Tribute in Songs)”

Grief is an amazing catalyst in art.  It has a way of bringing the Joy and sorrow to the forefront of one’s imagination in a constant and confrontational manner.  Van Gogh used grief to fuel his paintings.  Grief tortured William S. Burroughs into becoming a writer.  Grief was the muse that fueled Edgar Allen Poe. Loss is another great lens that filters perspective and expression.  Eric Clapton, whose three-year-old son Connor was killed in a tragic fall from a Manhattan high rise, used music to express his pain, and define his sorrow, with his song “Tears in Heaven”.  The song explored longing and sorrow in a speculative and personal, yet ultimately universal way.  Anyone who experienced the loss of a loved one could relate.  Joseph Campbell tells us, in a quote that paraphrases the tale of Icarus, but also that of the human condition, “With wings of art we fly to our escape”.  Grief and Loss can be the catalyst to art and creativity, but it is ultimately the way the artists use his emotions, intellect and creativity with his medium, that allows the work to transcend the personal and be a portal to the outsider, or casual observer. Paul Willeto left the reservation in 1971, his guitar in hand, and journeyed to Santa Fe to enter The Institute of American Arts.  At this time, Native Americans were beginning to have an influence on popular culture in a more participatory and less exploited fashion.  A native American child could turn on the radio and hear artists such as Robbie Robertson, Buffy Saint Marie, and Paul’s main source of inspiration at that time, Redbone, and feel that they could rise to become something, have their voices heard. However, upon arriving there, he found music was not part of their curriculum, so, as artists will do, he adapted to his surroundings, and learned other ways to educate and express himself.  Thirty years later Paul was a teacher, artist, folklorist, sometimes guitarist/singer, and the role he most defined himself as, husband and father.  Fathers see their dreams of life alive in their children.  They see their futures and pasts, the generations that pass through them, and link them to eternity.  Parenthood is the ultimate statement and manifestation of creation. In 2004, Kim Willeto, Paul and Karen Willeto’s beautiful 16-year-old daughter, died suddenly of transplant complications.  In an instant their roles in life were redefined.  Their futures irrevocably altered.  Their present, one of deepest, blackest emptiness.  When life doesn’t turn out the way you plan, you adapt.  When life is stolen from you, and your dreams are shattered like a fragile Christmas ornament, you change. But, in the midst of surviving, what do you do when your vision of yourself has evaporated, when you are no longer that person in that role you were assigned so long ago?  A role you wore daily, and defined yourself by?  “I am not this person, this man who was father.  Who am I?” With wings of art we fly to our escape. Paul found himself drawn back to his guitar, to the spirit of music, to the comfort and escape of creativity.  After a period, he found music pouring out of him in abundance, enough to fill c.d. after c.d…  But where does one start? “The Mourn Day After” is a musical portrait of the soul in transformation.  It captures the pain and sorrow of loss, the joy of remembrance and the celebration of life.  In eleven songs Willeto explores the facets of tragedy in a variety of musical styles that defy expectations.  Lyrical guitars, somber cello, tribal drums, rising keyboards, and dancing wind instruments, all come together song after song in a c.d. that is eerily reminiscent of the fabulous work Eric Clapton did with Bonnie and Delaney in his post Blind Faith days. Paul has assembled some of the Southwest’s finest musicians in a wonderfully produced effort.  Willeto himself handles the vocals, as well as guitars and bass, Gary Cook picks the mandolin and offers some lead guitar, Lacey Black proficiently handles the keyboards, Ben Simpson is the percussionist, Karen Johnson offers a somber cello, Karen Willeto supplements the guitars, the amazing Jeff “Sugar lips” Solon blows sweet and melodious on the sax and mouth harp, and Jenny Winegardner’s vocal harmonies fit Willeto’s bluesy vocals like a glove. Caribbean rhythms, tribal drums, and good old-fashioned rock and roll come together in a project that transcends personal grief, and offers some amazingly listenable songs.  “Mourn Day After” is a c.d. that you will find yourself listening to again and again.  The title track song is strong, “Watchin’ His World Go ‘Round” is catchy and vivid, “I’m alright, But I’m Not Alright” is amazingly light and heavy at the same time.  This c.d. proudly shows off Paul Willeto’s versatility and range in a personal and universal way, both as a writer and as a musician.  There is a special track on the c.d., Lolly Vegas’s (Paul’s musical hero from Redbone) “Come and Get Your Love”.  Willeto gently and lovingly pays homage to his childhood heroes in a laid back, gusto filled rendition.  “The Mourn Day After” is Paul Willeto’s first c.d., and he has a few more c.d.’s in the works.  As each song on his first c.d. is stronger and stronger, I cannot help but look ahead to the powerful work that lies ahead of him.  You can order this c.d. and find out more about Paul Willeto “The Mourn Day After” at Willeto’s website:  https://willetorecordsllc.com/Music Store.

Chaz Pike, Lance Records

Official Willeto Records, LLC