Black Music Matters Festival

Pam Gadd

The Time Of Our Lives – 2001 (OMS)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

CDs by Pam Gadd

In the early 1990's, long before the Dixie Chicks made their debut on the country charts, there was Wild Rose, an all-female country band that mixed bluegrass-style instrumentations and harmonies with the more mainstream Nashville sensibilities. They released several major label albums and received a fair amount of radio airplay. Pam Gadd was the lead singer and banjo player for Wild Rose. Fans may also remember her from a stint with the Kentucky-based, New Coon Creek Girls.

Gadd is back with a fine new album of mostly her own material. Though not traditional bluegrass, there's a strong bluegrass presence. She has one of the best voices around and her songs sound like they come from the heart. The best tunes include "Virginia Man," "A Whole Lot Of Heart," "Hold Your Horses" and a great Randy Scrugg's instrumental, "Acousticizer."

Gadd is one of the best kept secrets in country or bluegrass music, as a singer, songwriter and musician. This album is a good showcase for all of her talents.