Dark Water Rising (N.C. Folklife Area)

  • Lumbee Indian rock and soul
  • Robeson County, North Carolina

Drawing from varied musical influences, including blues, rock and roll, soul, and gospel, Dark Water Rising creates a dynamic, powerful sound. Hailing from the Lumbee Indian Tribe of Robeson County, North Carolina, their name references the black water of the Lumbee River that flows through the heart of their community. Although the group’s Native heritage is evident in their music, they aren’t playing “traditional” American Indian music. Rather, they are blending the diverse sounds they heard growing up in a southern Native community, particularly southern rock and soul, and writing songs that address their experiences as well as the complex, tangled lives of American Indian people. Lead singer Charly Lowry says the song “‘Brownskin’ … was written to bring awareness to some of the things that we were seeing back home in our communities. The song is just saying we are a minority, yes, but always be proud of where you come from.”

Since forming a decade ago, the band has received three Native American Music Awards. Dark Water Rising — Charly Lowry (vocals/rhythm guitar/percussion), Aaron Locklear (keys/guitar/drums), Corey Locklear (lead guitar), Zack Hargett (bass), and Emily Musolino (vocals/lead guitar)–will release their third album this year.

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