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December Wind performing at Edwards Opera House, preparing to record third album

pAKWESASNE — A local alternative folk rock band will be appearing at the Edwards Opera House and debuting music that will be included on its third album when members head into the studio later this year./ppDecember Wind is led by two-time Native American Music Awards-winning artist Atsiaktonkie. Joining him are Terry Terrance on bass guitar and backup vocals, and Barry Corley on drums and percussion./ppThe first north country show will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Edwards Opera House, as the band prepares for a tour that will take it across the region to promote its third studio album./pp“We are all Mohawk men. We walk the red road, which means no alcohol or drugs cloud our minds,” Atsiaktonkie said. “We try to be kind to everyone we meet and try to give thanks no matter what. We hope that is reflected in our music.” /ppDuring its Edwards Opera House show, the band will debut tracks from “Without Answers,” which is set for release this fall. It’s the band’s first album since the release of “Second Wind” in 2005. Its first album, “Sacred Voice,” was released in 1999. Both “Sacred Voice” and “Second Wind” are available for purchase at a number of retailers in and around Akwesasne./ppAtsiaktonkie said December Wind originally started in 1999 “while I was real young.” He said he was more into athletics than music./pp“It was my first band. My first show was right on a big stage. I never did cover songs. I just did my own original music,” he said./ppSix months after he picked up a guitar, Atsiaktonkie said he had a record deal./ppThe band split up in 2005, and Atsiaktonkie went solo in 2009./pp“That’s when I won the awards,” he said./ppDecember Wind was re-formed last year and has been rehearsing since. In the process, they moved from a six-person group to three people./pp“We made some changes. We decided that the vocals were cluttered before. You couldn’t hear the lyrics. We downsized our band to a drummer, bass player, myself and a backup singer,” Atsiaktonkie said./ppHe said he grew up listening to classic rock and once sent in a country song for review./pp“The review guy wrote back and said, ‘There’s not a country drop in your blood. This is folk.’ I guess I’m a folk artist,” he said./ppThat’s the type of music listeners hear from December Wind. They say their sounds are reminiscent of Bob Seger, Neil Young or Bob Dylan, with a clear Native American message that comes through the band’s thoughtful lyrics./ppAtsiaktonkie said they expect to be in the studio in Rochester to record their third album in October or November./pp“Our new CD is being dedicated to the missing and murdered Native American women and children,” he said. “It’s everywhere. It’s like thousands missing per week. Nobody can prove anything. We’re trying to bring an awareness that it’s even happening to people.”/pp“We have made some adjustments with a stronger focus on our message,” he said. “I really believe this CD has taken on a whole different meaning than many of my other CDs. The CD is important. I’m just a messenger of the words. The whole message is if we can somehow stop this through music and bring it to light.”/ppAtsiaktonkie said they are also working on a video production “that will help bring light to the issue of the people with the handprint on their faces, a Native American spiritual name for the missing and murdered women and children.”/pp“It’s going to be a powerful video. We’re going to have native leaders, non-native leaders and community joining hands in unity,” he said./ppFor booking information, contact Atsiaktonkie at For more information on December Wind, visit their website at


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