Frankfort resident David Thundering Eagle Fallis believes that making music is a calling.
“I’m not a songwriter,” he said. “I take dictation. The creator says, ‘I put this on your heart; write it down’ and he tells me what to write and I do.”
Fallis’ most recent “dictation” led him and his son Chris Fallis to win “Best Folk Recording” at the 19th annual Native American Music Awards at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York, on Nov. 2.
Fallis says it's the Native American version of the Grammys.
The song, “Two Trees Standing,” was written and produced by the father and son.
“I love the song,” Fallis said. “The lyrics tell a story. Everything I do tells a story.”
“Two Trees Standing” definitely tells a story.
“Two Trees Standing was a friend of mine,” Fallis sings. “He saved my life as I lay dying.”
Fallis says it depends on what DNA test you look at, but he is around 22% percent Native American with genealogical proof he’s Cherokee.
Fallis was inspired to write “Two Trees Standing” after he saw a picture of two trees while visiting Cherokee, North Carolina.
“I thought, my god, look at how strong they stand together,” Fallis said. “The lyrics just fell out.”
Fallis says that without his son, the song wouldn’t have come together in time for the nomination deadline.
“We had two days to get it up there after I wrote it,” Fallis said. “By Wednesday, he called me and said, ‘Daddy, we got a song.’”
Chris Fallis plays multiple instruments, including the Native American flute. He recorded all the instrument tracks and backup vocals for the song, David Fallis said.
“I’m so proud of my son for what he was able to do,” Fallis said. “It was his production work that sent it over the top.”
David and Chris Fallis are featured independent artists on Native Family Radio with songs in the Top 20.
“Two Trees Standing” will be featured on Fallis’ upcoming album, “Atlatl.” An Atlatl, or spear-thrower, is a Native American weapon with a spear on one end an ornate handle on the other.
“Each end is important and together they make a formidable weapon,” Fallis said, adding that it reminds him of the relationship he has with his son.
“Atlatl” will be out early next year, Fallis added.
David and Chris Fallis’ music, including “Two Trees Standing,” is available on most music streaming platforms and on reverbnation.com.