A Review of the CD
"Courage, Love and Grace"
by Pete Morton
"Courage, Love and Grace"
by Pete Morton
P.O. Box 25
Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 7UN
phone/fax: 01229 588290
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message
Mental or moral strength to persevere and withstand danger, fear or
difficulty. Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal
ties. Unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration or sanctification.
There you have it--courage, love and grace.
Pete Morton enriches Webster's Dictionary definitions through his acoustic
gospel on these intriguing subjects in this finely-textured, provocative
release. Avoiding the trap of tendering hackneyed platitudes or trite bromides,
Morton's material instead makes the listener work, thinking, focusing,
and re-assessing throughout his fourteen chapters.
Utilizing his commanding, edgy voice to enhance the power of his songs,
Morton's zen-like handbook mocks gold, jewels, and silver as transitory
baubles and pleads for taking the path of forgetting the head and opening
the heart in order to achieve a more fully-realized and satisfactory existence.
Greater personal and societal good is possible by focusing both within
and on the simple things of life. Lest the reader fear Morton has hightailed
it to some monastic order and is proffering Gregorian chants here--fear
not. He utilizes a variety of musical styles and rhythms while incorporating
especially tantilizing accordian and fiddle play into a number of the cuts.
Opening with "Change," an eloquent view of a mystical trek through England,
Scotland, and Wales, displaying faded empires, smug superiority and the
nasty, class conscious side of Great Britain, Morton immediately seizes
the listener's attention.
"Heartland," is a simple love song, containing a chorus that would melt
Stonehenge. Morton sings:
"...You speak of love as if it lives someplace else
His chorus, swelling with Tom McConville's sweet fiddling, goes:
Like its something we can't afford
Pack your bags, we're leaving,
We are leaving for the windswept plain,
We're on these rations of knowledge,
Until we're thoughtless again..."
"...Traveling home to the heartland,
A plea to put past relationships and their accumulative baggage aside and
relish moving forward together in a new union, "On Your Side" offers a
delicately serene third verse:
Now there's nowhere to run.
Where the waters flow anyhow,
But the loving has just begun..."
"...And I don't know what led me here
The title song, "Courage, Love and Grace" packs a wallop with its opening
Or what made us collide,
And I still can't see what's really happening,
So I just take it in my stride,
And I'm not looking for salvation,
When you try too hard you're denied,
I'm just on your side, just simply on your side..."
"Old enough to see it,
After each stanza, Morton, at his most evocative, sings:
Seen enough to know,
Going nowhere without it,
Wherever it is you wanna go.
There's no fresh start without it,
There's no wounds healed,
No times will be changing at all,
No heart of stone will ever learn to feel..."
"...Without courage, without love, without grace,
The fifth stanza of "The Harrowing of Pride," best colors Morton's overall
Courage, love and grace..."
"...Whatever you hold, love or glory or gold,
Paced again by McConville's fiddle on "Eternity," the last cut, Morton
You have it and then its gone,
As you live and you breathe,
You lose or you leave,
What you've given, whatever you've won
Carrying a load of memories,
The chances that you never tried,
Whatever you hold, love or glory or gold,
There's a day for the harrowing of pride..."
"...Counting out your blessings happy with your lot
Overall, this release is a mature look at life, providing insight on issues
tormenting the human psyche since, well, eternity. Morton's distinctive
vocals, inviting lyrics, and smooth instrumental backing make this a compelling
the material things and the purpose you got
some of it planned some of it not
you can play around your head all day.
Love has been here your love has been there
tossed from the ocean flung in the air
and the next one coming might be weaving a snare
you're protecting your heart all day..."
So what's next? Fear, lust and forlorness?
Morton's vocals and guitar are backed by Vaughan Phelps on bass, Mike
Willoughby on harmonica, Karen Tweed on accordian, Sally Barker on vocals,
Tom McConville on fiddle, Roger Wilson on fiddle, and Jez Luton on guitar.
- Change (5:06) Pete Morton
- Heartland (4:04) Pete Morton
- On Your Side (3:52) Pete Morton
- Family Tree (3:28) Pete Morton
- Through It All (2:34) Lyrics by Pete Kenny and music by Pete Cooke
- Learning of a Miracle (3:05) Pete Morton
- From Ireland (3:01) Pete Kenny
- One Truth (2:39) Pete Morton
- Courage Love and Grace (5:04) Pete Kenny
- Cheating Man (3:32) Pete Kenny
- Love Me in Eden (3:49) Pete Morton
- The Lion and the Lamb (4:03) T.V. Smith
- The Harrowing of Pride (6:31) Pete Kenny
- Eternity (4:24) Pete Morton
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