Portland’s Katherine Paul is the queer and Indigenous musician behind the Black Belt Eagle Scout moniker. In 2020, Paul made the journey from Portland back to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Reservation, where she grew up, about 20 minutes south of Anacortes, Washington along the Skagit River. That’s where she eventually became a jingle dress dancer—wearing traditional powwow regalia made with 365 tobacco can lids curled into cone-like shape, and sewn closely together with ribbons. On her forthcoming album The Land, The Water, The Sky, Paul will serve as a storyteller over the course of 12 tracks, evoking feelings of deep sadness, but also joy and hope, as Paul remembers the land, wisdom, knowledge, and traditions passed down by her ancestors—and weaves those inspirations in with her grunge and riot grrrl sounds. The album is expected to drop on February 10 via indie label Saddle Creek, but you can listen to two singles from the record RIGHT NOW: opening track “My Blood Runs Through This Land,” and “Don’t Give Up.”
by Portland Mercury Contributor Jenni Moore
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