Keith Secola is an ambassador of Native rock and roll. For more than 25 years, he has remained a defining force in the community – a beloved singer, bandleader, and activist. In December 2017, Don Giovanni Records will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Secola's 1992 debut album, Circle, with a remastered first-time vinyl pressing. The record – a compilation of songs that were initially released on small run cassettes – is a defining work of Native Americana and contains Secola's most beloved song, "NDN Kars."
There are plenty of rock 'n roll songs about cars, but Secola's ride is a different type of vehicle. It is symbolic of community, rather than individualism. "My car is dented / the radiator steams / One headlight don't work / But the radio can scream," he sings. "At that time the connotation of an Indian Car was negative. To me, it's [a song] about the richness of being poor," adds Secola. "The essence of the song is in the line, ‘I got a sticker says ‘NDN Power'/ I stuck it on my bumper / That's what holds my car together'. Belief in a higher power." The song remains one of the most requested tunes on tribal radio. It neatly summarizes the imagery and character that continues to occupy Secola's songwriting.
In 2011, he joined the ranks of Jimmy Hendrix, Hank Williams, Crystal Gale, and Richie Valens, and was inducted into the Native Music Hall of Fame. Liner notes by Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), The Edge (U2), and John Densmore (The Doors).