Is She Or Isn't She?

The Time of Our Lives (OMS Records)
Pam Gadd

By Bob Mitchell

On a day back in the 1980s or 90s that no one remembers specifically (including me), I was one of about a hundred A Wild Rose fans who sat on the Louisville Belvedere to hear this innovative hard driving group of women. Since those days with the Rose band, Pam Gadd has taken a long, winding journey through the uneven terrain of Bluegrass and country music. Today she is widely acknowledged as an exceptional singer, songwriter, and musician. When her name is on the CD cover you know you are in for a listening treat. And you'll get one with The Time of Our Lives.

I have always had a problem trying to categorize Gadd's music. Sometimes she's Bluegrass, sometimes she's country, and sometimes she's. . . well, I decided to stop trying because a category is not really important for this extraordinary woman. Simply put, she has a natural heart-felt manner of delivering a song, whether she wrote it or not. She is a musician's musician who surrounds herself with top-quality personnel. For example, she includes Marty Stuart on mandolin, Randy Skaggs on guitar, Glen Duncan on fiddle and Ron Ickes on dobro. Ten of thirteen tracks are penned by Gadd and two others were co-written by her.

The opening cut, "Virginia Man," is an uptempo love song that will steal your heart. "Some Things Stay The Same" is a nostalgic tune filled with a deep yearning for simpler times. "Acoustisizer" is a dazzling original instrumental by Randy Skaggs - nothing more needs to be said. "Go On" is an optimistic look at the passing of time and our need to keep on going on. "A Whole Lot Of Heart" is a beautiful and loving tribute to the sacrifices her parents made for her. My favorite tracks, "Hold Your Horses," "Some Things Stay The Same," and "Blue Railroad Tracks" feature outstanding fiddle work from Glen Duncan.

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