Native Village
Youth and Education news
November 1, 2010, Volume 4

A new adventure for Brule
Condensed by Native Village

Missouri: Branson audiences have embraced South Dakota's Native American band, Brule. In fact, Brule is so popular that all 18 cast members and their families have moved there.

"We are loaded up pretty heavily next year, too, so after this next show in Sioux Falls, we probably won't be back to South Dakota for a long time," said Brule founder Paul LaRoche.

The band's full stage show is called Brule and AIRO - American Indian Rock Opera.

The show is the story of LaRoche's reunion with the reservation and how he tries to bridge cultures. The show respects his native culture and traditions.

"It's a theme of reconciliation," he says.

LaRoche was adopted off the Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation at birth. In 1993, Paul learned of his Sioux heritage and returned home to meet his brother, sister, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. This discovery created the powerful feelings he now expresses in his music.

Paul's daughter Nicole LaRoche has played flute in the show for 17 years. His son, Shane, plays guitars and other instruments.  He also serves as cameraman for shows that are recorded for broadcast.

Many who come to Brule's show at RFD TV Theater are surprised that it's not a country music theme.

"The audience takes a chance, see it, then tell me how glad they are that they saw it," said Kendra Pucket from RFD Theater. "It is a great show."

LaRoche says the production has a feel that falls "somewhere between Vegas and Broadway," but is geared toward a down-home market.

"And doing 150 shows in Branson so far helped us get the bugs out and refined the story line, tightening up the show," LaRoche says. "Success has happened so slowly that we've had a chance to appreciate it, and it kept us from getting too big of a head."

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