Healing can come in several forms, but for Nahko Bear of Nahko and Medicine for the People (MFTP), music is the much-needed medicine he and the band deliver to their fans.
As the self-proclaimed coyote and human being on a journey, Bear’s path has taken him across the country gaining experiences and friendships, which he has translated into song and shares with his ever-growing loyal fan base. Riding off the current success of the latest MFTP album titled “Hoka,” the band will be making a Tuesday (June 13) stop on its “HOKA – A Call to Action” tour at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership location, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.
Music with good vibrations and a positive message may be needed by many in the word today. Those seeking a change of pace, reassurance or those in need of some musical healing should look no further.
“The world we live in is so sick and complexed with separation and as a person who is evolving in my mind and in my consciousness and in my physical and spiritual form, I am always trying to figure out and navigate the negativity in the world,” Bear said. “The songs are kind of literally like a pat on the back like, ‘It’s cool, bro. It’s going to be all good.’”
While he admits to not being positive and uplifting all the time, Bear’s music is designed to give hope and healing to many of his fans through such subjects as positive thinking, reflections on past events or disagreement on the treatment of Native Americans in the United States. Coming from a background of Native and Puerto Rican descent, MFTP has several songs touching on social change and learning from past mistakes. Nahko says his experiences make up most of his songs.
Bear’s music, as he says, has a little something for everyone, as the band has written and recorded music that transcends genres. From elements of hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll to folk and reggae, MFTP delivers a blend of tunes for fans of various styles to enjoy on all three of the group’s studio albums. The band travels as a six-piece crew, which Bear says adds to the overall experience. He highly credits the other members of the band for their musical talents in addition to just being great individuals.
“Oh, yeah, they back me and I’m like, ‘OK, I’m not very good, so you guys pretend I’m good and we’ll pretend I’m good,’” he said as he laughed.
Self-described as a young band, Bear says Medicine for the People is still learning how to be a professional touring band. The journey started as Bear’s solo music and transformed to include a variety of musicians from various backgrounds and ethnicities. Before the band began touring on a large scale, Bear had a passion for farming and was convinced working the soil was going to be his career path. It has only been in the past five years that this dream has changed and the band has played venues from small gondola rides to Skype stage sessions and even made an appearance at the annual Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque in April.
As the band uses medicine in its name, Bear said he believes the group’s music is an “anti-establishment” approach to healing for its listeners. In a world so hectic and complicated, MFTP can deliver a relaxing, yet thought-provoking brand of music both live and in the studio to its fans. Mixing acoustic and electric elements of peace and activism in its albums and concerts, the band promotes a revolutionary Bob Dylan feeling with songs like “My Country” and transition to a positive and healing vibe similar to Bob Marley and the Wailers with Black as Night.
“It’s the name of the band. It’s what we do,” Bear said. “We are a social experiment as much as we are a social empowerment project thorough the multidimensional shield that we work in.”
Connection with friends and fans is important to Bear, who says he is very open with and accepting of fans. Looking at breaking the fan-artist barrier, he says he spends as much time with fans as possible and understands that a listener seeing their favorite musician could potentially make a major difference in a person’s life.
In preparation for the show, Bear is letting Taos residents and travelers know they are in for an evening of fun and adventure. Nahko said the show will be a safe place for everyone to join in and have a good time in a world full of daily stress.
“Expect to be challenged and to dance,” Bear said. “And expect to feel good. Find a couple of hours of your day to feel empowered and strong again.”
Doors for the show open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23 in advance and can be purchased online or in person. Prices hit $30 day of the show. For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-1900 or visit taosmesabrewing.com.