The Seminole oral tradition of sharing stories and maintaining legends is continued, and updated for the 21st Century, on "Seminole Fire: Legends and Stories." In this collection, the Chief shares stories passed on to him as a Bird Clan member growing up in the Florida Everglades. Since 1979, he has been the Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and his music serves to preserve the Seminole culture, educate the masses, and to financially maintain his 2000-member tribe.

Accompanied sparingly by music and sound effects, Chief Jim Billie's colloquial narration guides us through Native American explanations of the stars, the animals, and the Creator. Animals unhappy with the way they were created trick another animal into trading body parts. The Creator, called the Breathmaker, makes Man out of clay. Actually, He makes several men and then orders them to bathe in a river. The first man comes out of the river pink, the next man yellowish, the next brown, and finally the last man comes out dark, a black man. As each successive man bathes, the river became increasingly dirty, creating the races.

More stories than actual structured songs, the collection on "Seminole Fire" is entertaining and kid safe (most would make good bedtime stories). And throughout the CD, Chief Billie's warm, unrefined voice inspires visions of a simple existence where men and animals talk, and everyone learns to respect nature. Lose the nursery school rhyming on a couple tracks, include some more history of the Seminoles in the liner notes and this'd be a gem.

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