Album review

Amanda Rheaume 

Keep A Fire

added: 4 Aug 2014 // release date: 18 Aug 2014 // label: Self-Released
reviewer: David Spencer

Amanda Rheaume - Keep A Fire - Printable version
Amanda Rheaume is Metis, one of the recognised Aboriginal peoples of Canada - in fact they make up about a third of the country's Aboriginal population. Their roots lie with European settlers, but musically Rheaume drifts somewhere between Country and Celtic tones - at times to splendid effect. On the powerful Not This Time, she tells the story of a voyage made by paternal great grandparents to Hudson Bay. When a storm hit, the group were separated but after two days of drifting, they were amazingly reunited.

References to her background litter the album, with Keep A Fire In The Rain about being a mixed race family in a community where that wasn't welcome. Passed Down The Line and AGB Bannatyne continue a similar theme, with the latter a tribute to a distant relative that was a founding father of Manitoba.

Already collecting awards - with the Juno nomination earlier this year for Aboriginal Album of The Year - Rheaume has proved that hard work (she plays more than 150 shows a year) can pay off. But there's more than hard work here, with a talent for storytelling that pays a fitting tribute to a history she is obviously very proud of.

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3 stars

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