Image © 2000
Amber Music Ltd
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
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
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
With stunning vocals and instrumental arrangements, these two albums by
Pamela Morgan are worth a long distance journey and are a must listen!