John Lakota Locklear, born in 1997, grew up listening to his dad’s music collection. At seven years old, he picked up the harmonica and at nine his first guitar. Intrigued by the sound of the slide guitar, by ten he had bought himself a glass slide, placed it on his pinky finger and has been sliding ever since. Today he is joined by Mama Tonya, Papa John and Sister Layla; a proud Lumbee Nation family of talented musicians.
The Lumbee Nation includes 50,000 members who call the enchanting area around Lumberton, NC, with its swamps and cypress trees, home. The tribe has resided along the banks of the Lumbee River, from which they take their name, since the mid-1700s. It is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi and has yet to gain federal recognition. Since the creation of blues music, Indians have paid an often overlooked but deep contribution to this musical tradition. The father of the blues, Charlie Patton, was a Choctaw Indian. Scrapper Blackwell, Jesse Ed Davis, Elizabeth Cotten, Jimi Hendrix and so many of our great blues and jazz artists celebrated their Indian heritage. Lakota John & Kin continue to stir our musical southern stew with their ancestors’ ancient harmonies and traditional blues melded together.
How We Helped:
Music Maker has partnered with Lakota John through our Next Generation project, introducing him to elder musicians that pass along traditions, as well as getting him performance opportunities.