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Pamela Morgan Collection CD Cover
Image © 2000 Amber Music Ltd

Pamela Morgan On A Wing And A Prayer CD Cover
Image © 1996 Amber Music Ltd
 

(11 December 2000) Pamela Morgan's latest album release includes twelve tracks that detail her diverse and innovative musical journey. It is entitled Collection (Amber Music (Canada) 9807-2, 2000) and chronicles her solo work and with her band Figgy Duff. She is the former lead singer, songwriter and co-founder of the folk/rock innovators Figgy Duff. At the forefront of the traditionally influenced Celtic scene for the past 20 years, her music will appeal to enthusiasts of Clannad, Capercaillie and Renaissance. With a sweetly sensual voice she is vocally similar to Sandy Denny and Jennifer Nobel so her music may indeed appeal to those that follow Fairport Convention and Ileesha Bailey of Karda Estra (review above) as well as Grey Eye Glances.

Writing from Newfoundland, Pamela Morgan told us, "[the album is] an introduction for some, a road map for others; a bridge between influence and direction, past, present and future. This is a collection of some of my favourites; scattered over several albums, each reflecting its own time, beauty and circumstance. Often inspired by nature and the ocean, these are songs of changing times and changing moods, but always coloured by the constant and profound beauty of Newfoundland and her graceful people."

Before Noel Dinn's untilmely death in 1993, he worked with Pamela to produce the exquisite The Colour of Amber also featuring Anita Best on backing vocals. Pamela continued her musical journey on the album, redefining some of the most haunting traditional material that ultimately landed the album on several "Year's Best" lists throughout the world.

Collection's twelve tremendous tracks come from a broad cross section of Pamela Morgan's earlier releases including On A Wing And A Prayer, Downstream, Weather Out The Storm and the various artists collection Another Time. Tracks are largely Celtic influenced but blend contemporary and rock arrangements with Pamela's stunning vocal work. Traditional sounds are largely delivered through modern instrumentation. One can not help but be highly captivated by each song's arrangements and Pamela superb vocal delivery. The upbeat folk rock track "Freedom" is certainly the album's standout track. It is a tremendous album, a wonderful collection of the artist's work, and a tribute to the band where it all began—certainly a must listen.

With the release of her first solo album, On A Wing And A Prayer (Amber Music (Canada) 9803-2, 1996), she carries the legacy of Figgy Duff through her own highly innovative, self-produced original music, which earned critical acclaim and a place on various international compilations. It is actually only one of Pamela's two solo albums, the other being a collection of holiday music entitled Amber Christmas (more). On A Wing And A Prayer has twelve original numbers, some written with Noel Dinn prior to his death and it continues much in the style developed earlier with Figgy Duff. Occasional traditional instrumentation includes whistle and bodhran and both are played to great effect. One is keenly reminded of Loreena McKennitt's work in several of the album's tracks.

As one would expect of a female vocalist's solo album On A Wing And A Prayer is slightly more self-indulgent, with the vocals mixed way up where Musical Discoveries' editors like them, and with more vast vocal excursions exploring Pamela Morgan's range. Instrumentals are actually slightly more traditional with fiddle, whistle and mandolin clearly shining through the arrangements each with lovely solos played during the instrumental bridges in the individual tracks.

Pamela Morgan's vocals are sweet and sensually sung, whispy at times, but never dusky (as others have written). She sings equally with crystalline quality, especially on her solo album, and our readers will hear all of these styles in both Collection and On A Wing And A Prayer. These albums will be equally comfortable being played on an easy going Sunday morning as they will be on a dynamic Saturday night but perfectly suited to calm the nerves in intense city traffic might be too relaxing for a cross country motorway drive.

Pamela Morgan's recordings are available through a number of online sources. You can read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order Collection from amazon.com here and On A Wing And A Prayer here. With stunning vocals and instrumental arrangements, these two albums by Pamela Morgan are worth a long distance journey and are a must listen!

 
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