Poor Boy

Under Appreciated


The music on Broken Treaties is basically soft rock; much of the music has lush strings, so Silverbird is often classified as a disco band, even though 1971-1973 is early in the disco era to say the least.  However, there are a variety of musical styles and several lead vocalists; and overall, the music has a definite tribal feel.  Their voices merge beautifully, providing fine background vocals; on “Would You” and “Poor Boy”, the lead vocals are several singers in harmony.

The opening tracks on each side – “Custer’s Last Stand” and the title song, “Broken Treaties” – deal effectively (and far less provocatively than Buffy Sainte-Marie did on It’s My Way!) with the basics regarding Native Americans; besides the themes that are obvious from the song titles, the songs talk about the slaughter of the buffalo herds and the current poverty among Native Americans.  The mood of these two songs is appropriately somber, though the majority of the songs on Broken Treaties are upbeat. 


While the other tracks on the Broken Treaties album by Silverbird do not directly address Native American issues, there is some social commentary, notably on “Poor Boy”.  The final song on the album, “Violet” was singled out for praise by the piece on the album on the www.weapon-shaped.com website.  My own favorites on the album are “Broken Treaties”, “Friends”, “At the Party”, and “Sonny”. 


(August 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021