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Internet Radio Station Review:

During his tenure as a Crutchfield staff writer, Marshall Chase wrote about home theater receivers, sound bars, and in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.

More from Marshall Chase

When I have an opportunity to listen to music on Internet radio I find myself  drawn to the exotic. But sometimes the most fascinating novelty is actually "native" — Native American music.  I particularly like Native Radio®, from Taos, New Mexico.

This Internet-only station plays music with a mix of instrumental and vocals, weighted more towards the former. Native Radio is commercial free and provides a showcase of Native American artists across a wide spectrum. Yes, you'll hear native flutes, drums, and songs in the tongues that once filled the air of this continent. But there are also more standard sounding compositions as well.

The stars of this station are the artists themselves who form an eclectic and talented mix. Native Radio's raison d'être isn't just about  sharing Native American heritage, or the preservation of its varied culture. They provide a virtual stage for new Native American artists, particularly among the youth. The result is a fusion that can be vibrant and contemplative. 

The songs follow one another without introduction. Artist and song info scrolls on screen.  For more details on an artist or playlist it's a fairly simple matter to log on to Native Radio's website for a list of the last ten songs played. If you have a preference for one over the other, Native Radio's website offers direct links to 128k streams for either "Contemporary" or "Pow Wow & Traditional."  I listened to the "Pow-Wow & Traditional" station through V-Tuner's website which offered the mix I described. 

The resulting program seems a bit random, but I think that's fun. The sound quality is clear with a stream of 128k MP3. I listened on my computer both with speakers and headphones. Excellent download quality, and channel separation with no gaps in the stream.

Ultimately, I thought that Native Radio deserves a listen, not as a novelty, or as a testament to the past, but as a focal point of a living heritage that finds its home on the ground we tread daily.

How To Listen:

Accessible through most wireless music players


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