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Figgy Duff


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Traditional and neo-traditional Celtic music and pop/folk

Status:

Final release, Retrospective (compilation, 1995)

See also:

Wikipedia entry on Figgy Duff

Canoe Jam's article on Pamela Morgan

The Ectophiles' Guide's entry for Pamela Morgan's solo work.

Comparisons:

Altan, Capercaillie

Covers/own material:

Traditional and own

General comments:

I'd like to mention one of my favorite groups: Figgy Duff. Figgy Duff heralds from Newfoundland.
     Figgy Duff has several CDs including Weather Out the Storm (the song by the same name is on Putumayo's A Celtic Collection), After the Tempest, and Downstream. Lead vocalist Pamela Morgan has a sweet, rich voice, and she has some of her own solo CDs. Figgy Duff's music has a strong Celtic foundation, as does a lot of music out of Newfoundland, but they're best described as a folk rock band. Some of their songs are traditional-sounding; others firey. The Boston Globe said, "The music of Newfoundland band Figgy Duff is like the fast island itself...wild, ancient and beautiful." And beautiful it is. Their songs are often evocative, drawing out a range of emotions when you hear them. The Irish Voice said that Pamela Morgan has "one of the loveliest voices north of the US border."
     Figgy Duff CDs are the kind that you can listen to over and over again (spouse willing, that is.) I don't mean to compare them to any of these groups, but if your tastes run to Capercaillie, Clannad, October Project and Renaissance, you'll enjoy Figgy Duff.
     Figgy Duff disbanded in 1993 after the untimely death of their founder, Noel Dinn. Pamela Morgan continues to make new music, though. (billonline@adlerbooks.com)

Figgy Duff produced two traditional albums of traditional songs from Newfoundland (mostly from Celtic originals) and two smoother neo-traditional pop albums of Noel Dinn's compositions. Pamela Morgan was the lead singer, and she has a clear, rich, absolutely gorgeous voice. They're one of my favourite trad bands (especially After The Tempest—I was less thrilled with their move toward pop—but even there the group's musicianship and Pamela Morgan's stunning voice made their music come alive. I especially recommend After The Tempest and of the more pop-oriented, I prefer Weather Out The Storm . Pamela Morgan's vocals are incredible. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

After the Tempest for their traditional work or Weather Out The Storm for Noel Dinn's compositions

Recordings:


Figgy Duff

Release info:

1980; reissued 1991—Hypnotic Records/A&M (Canada)—71356-5000-2

Availability:

Hard to find

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for lovers of Celtic or progressive folk.

Group members:

Pamela Morgan—vocals, guitar, tin whistle, piano
Noel Dinn—drums, vocal harmony, piano
Dave Panting—mandolin, bass, vocal harmony, guitar
Geoff Butler—button accordions

Produced by:

Gary Furness & Tom Treumuth

Comments:

Mostly traditional arrangements. Wonderful lively songs. (Neile)

After The Tempest

Release info:

1982; reissued 1991—Hypnotic Records/A&M (Canada)—71356-5001-2

Availability:

Rare and hard to find

Ecto priority:

Must have for lovers of Celtic or progressive folk. (Neile)

Group members:

Pamela Morgan—vocals, acoustic guitar, tin whistle, keyboards, synthesizer
Dave Panting—vocals, mandolin, electric guitar
Geoff Butler—button accordions, tin whistle
Derek Pelley—bass, vocal harmony
Noel Dinn—drums, bodhran, hammered dulcimer, piano

Produced by:

Tom Treumuth

Comments:

This is an excellent collection, a mix of tunes and songs. Pamela Morgan's wonderful, evocative voice is especially powerful and haunting on the songs here. (Neile)

Weather Out the Storm

Release info:

1990—Hypnotic/A&M (Canada)—71356-1000-2

Availability:

Hard to find

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of progressive folk

Group members:

Pamela Morgan:—vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizer
Noel Dinn—drums, bodhran, piano, vocals
Kelly Russell—fiddle, bouzouki, concertina, Celtic harp
Rob Laidlaw:—bass guitar
Bruce Cummell—electric and acoustic guitars
Frank Maher—button accordian, harmonica

Guest artists:

Geoff Butler—button accordion (2, 7)
Jamie Snider—fiddle (2, 9)
Kim Brown—backing vocals
Christopher Plock—saxophone (4, 9)
Randy Cook—drums (1)
Bill Bell—electric guitar, acoustic guitar (1, 2)
Anita Best—backing vocals (6)
Duncan Lindsay—organ (2), synthesizer (1, 7)
Ken Greer—slide guitar (2)

Produced by:

Tom Treumuth and Gary Furniss

Comments:

This is mostly songs of their own composition, but very much in the flavour of the previous collections. For fans of smoother pop and progressive folk. (Neile)

Downstream

Release info:

1993—Hypnotic/A&M (Canada)—71356-1009-2

Availability:

Hard to find

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of progressive folk/soft pop.

Group members:

Pamela Morgan—vocals, acoustic guitar, synth, tin whistle, whistle, piano
Noel Dinn—piano, synth, backing vocals
Rob Laidlaw—bass guitar
Sandy Morris—acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Ken Greer—pedal steel, electric guitar, slide guitar

Guest artists:

The Hynes Brothers—backing vocals (1, 2, 4)
Randy Cooke—drums (1, 2, 6, 7, 8,9)
Jamie Snider—fiddle (2, 3, 5, 9, 10)
Kim Brown—backing vocals (2, 6, 7, 8)
Antonelle Verone—backing vocals (2, 7)
George Morgan—vibraphone (3, 4), glockenpiel (3)
Billy Dinn—accordion (4, 7)
Bob O'Donovan—fiddle (6, 8), mandolin (6, 7, 8)
Lou Pomanti—piano (9)
Caroline Martin Rowe—backing vocals (9)
Tomiko Kiyonaga—backing vocals (9)
Duncan Lindsay—keyboard pad (10)

Produced by:

Pamela Morgan & Noel Dinn

Comments:

Haunting, very prettily produced songs that showcase Pamela Morgan's voice. Gentle but a little eerie. Lush, though uncluttered sound. Sadly it hasn't aged that well for me. (Neile)


Thanks to Jen P. Tagore Brage for work on this entry.

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