Pamela Morgan,
Seven Years
(Amber, 2002)

Newfoundland native Pamela Morgan, who began her career as singer, songwriter and producer for legendary folk group Figgy Duff, does a great job on her latest release, Seven Years, which comes along seven years after her critically acclaimed solo debut On a Wing & a Prayer. She has a beautiful voice, both soft and strong, and is not afraid to let the style of the songs range through many folk expressions, from pop to blues to jazz. She is joined by a host of talented musicians, including Rob Laidlaw (bass), Ken Greer (pedal steel) and Randy Cooke (drums/percussion).

"Will You Drive" is a quiet plea to a friend from a weary traveller and features Caroline Martin-Rowe's backing vocal, while "Aimes Moi," which she wrote with Gerald Thomas, is a plea to a lover to love or let go. Her vitality runs like a ribbon through these songs, including "Stay," which is simply beautiful -- it gave me shivers the first time I heard it. Even more amazing, it was written and sung in the studio on the last night of sessions -- here's to living life on the edge.

From blues/folk, she moves to her own arrangement of trad favourite "Ye Rambling Boys," which features Frank Maher on button accordion and Kelly Russell on fiddle. The title track is her arrangement of another traditional gem. The piano piece is stunning, gentle and sad.

Pretty piano also forms the backdrop for "That Kind of Guy," Morgan's ode to men who reach the age of midlife crisis and stay with their families. She tackles the confusion of aging in a positive way in "Olivia," about a woman who, in her mind, revisits better times as she nears the end of her life -- and finds a happiness that was long gone from her physical life.

This is a great collection of poignant and skillfully crafted songs from one of Newfoundland's songwriting treasures.

- Rambles
written by Rachel Jagt
published 31 May 2003

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