Angela Harris,
(Max, 2005)

"There are certain times of the year when I open myself up to inhaling the details of the world. My eyes and ears are open and I become a holding tank. When I become too heavy, I go into 'output' and start writing songs."

And write she does. Angela Harris is prolific with something to say. As soon as she started singing "Roots Can Grow Anywhere," the title track to her new CD, Roots, I was hooked. With a voice like Patti Griffin or Emmylou Harris, I wanted to listen. I wanted to hear what she had to say. There is nothing fake about this writer. I felt like she'd lived her words.

"Way Down Deep," a poignant song about war, injustice and the power of greed, stood out. The words are stirring and heartfelt: "I wish I had the power at hand to weaken the strength of greed, disable the evil and war amongst men that pains us way down deep." Wow. It's even more stirring in light of recent events between the world and Iraq.

"I'm Scared" paints a picture of watching her dad age. I was right there; the images were clear and so profound. "Power in Opinion" is a scathing attack on religion for religion's sake.

She writes about stuff, everyday stuff -- a dad kissing his daughter, small towns, ego, opinions, the wisdom of her mom. It's stuff we can all relate to. But she also handles global situations with the same skill, making the universal, personal and attainable.

What struck me most about this CD is I felt like I was watching little pieces of Harris's life, things she thought about and people she knew and loved. Excellent topics for songwriting. Too many times, writers try to color their words with clutter and jamming, leaving the listener confused and at a loss to know what the songs are about. Not so with Harris -- I was there, I felt the fears, pain and love she sang about.

It's not surprising that people are paying attention to Harris. To date, she has garnered 2 CANCON charting singles, she has been recognized with three BCCMA (British Columbia Country Music Association) nominations, and will be releasing Roots nationally through Maximum Music Group and Universal Music Canada.

I was pleasantly surprised and found myself wanting to tell people about this singer-songwriter. She's worth the listen. Roots is definitely a CD that warrants a second listen.

by Jane Eamon
7 January 2006

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