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Pat Moore. Photo provided by artist.

Talking Albums: Pat Moore

By John McDonald on May 11, 2020

Pat Moore has been active in the music scene for over 30 years, as a singer/songwriter, performer and producer. In the 1980s, she played dog-house bass and sang in Maple Hill, an award winning bluegrass band. In time, Pat ventured out on her own, writing and releasing her debut solo album The Time’s Never Been Better. “I was fortunate enough to record the album with a stellar cast from the bluegrass and country scene.”

Her second album, Take it to Heart, was recorded in 2003 with her band The Vinyl Frontier. “My third full-length album was with my bluegrass band, Maple Hill–a band that really puts the blues in bluegrass. It’s hard-driving and fun-loving.”

Pat regularly appears on stage, and behind the scenes. She was the creator and producer of the annual Ottawa Opry in support of Amnesty International, and produces and presents the annual Christmas GOOSE concert in aid of the Ottawa Food Bank. Pat is a host of CKCU’s Saturday Morning and of the station’s new literary program In My Good Books.

While recording her radio show, Pat told Apt613 about her stay-at-home life.

Pat Moore:

Singing is a passion for me. There is always a tune in my head, often on my lips, or in your ears if you’re nearby. Performing goes hand in hand with the passion to sing. I love to interpret songs according to my mood and the mood of the audience. So it’s never exactly the same each time. I love to surprise the audience, the band, and myself with subtle and not so subtle expressions of emotion.

In these days of COVID-19, I miss singing. Yes, I sing at home, though not nearly as much as I thought I would. The pandemic stole a bit of the drive, but it’s coming back, and I can’t wait to throw a whole bunch of new tunes at my musical partners. For the past couple of years I’ve had the joy of going back to some of my musical roots, playing in a mostly swing duo with guitarist Roland Doucet. He probably knows more chords than anyone. Sometimes it’s a three-piece combo by adding sax player Bruce Baker. Performing regularly with these guys has been such a delight, filling my passion for singing to the brim, giving me the opportunity to stretch on swing and jazz standards, as well as favourite folk, blues, and some country – whatever fits the mood and my desire to play vocally.

And then there’s radio. I’ve been producing and hosting on CKCU for over 20 years. I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to meet other artists and share their music and their stories with our audience. And there’s been opportunities to develop collaborative projects with many of the folks I meet over the years.

I’m doing the radio shows from home right now, so I’ve been honing my skills at Garage Band recording them. It’s a lot more work than doing a spontaneous show that I usually do from the station. That said, I do enjoy it, even though it takes me a lot longer. In normal times, I pull together a bunch of CDs the night before to play on my show. That takes me about 45 minutes. I arrive at the station at 6:45am with the CDs. I just do a spontaneous show from 7am, picking CDs from the pile I brought, until I reach 10am. Then I go home. The shows from home take me many, many more hours. Partly because I have the opportunity to erase glitches or change my mind about the CD choice. All that takes time. I am getting better though at getting an even volume!

I’ve been buying new and old music on iTunes, adding to my physical library that takes up a large wall in my basement office. You can tell from what I love to sing that I love most styles of music. What draws me is emotional delivery of a song. I’m almost entirely pulled to songs with lyrics, and singers and instrumentalists who sing to me. It’s as though they want me to listen and feel every word, every back-up note, every fill. And they get me excited to the point of holding my breath, or singing along, or needing to sing myself.

So I’ve been doing a bit of musical research, which fills two vessels – the one which seeks out inspiration to sing and write, and the other which adds to the joy of sharing music through selecting and airing music from many genres that hit me in the heart and the gut.

Some of the recent additions to my stash are Emmylou Harris’ Songbird, Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems. This is a 4 CD set that is so beautiful. John Hiatt’s Bring the Family. Wow, what great lyrical writing. And Joan Osborne. She’s a singer I had forgotten about until Don Marcotte, my good friend and in many ways my musical compass, brought her back to my attention.

I am a huge fan of Canadian folk music. The lyrics. The sentiments. Coloured with Canadian scenes and stories. There’s Stephen Fearing, Laura Smith, Suzie Vinnick, Roy Forbes, Matt Anderson, Lynn Miles, Tom Lips, Tyler Kealey, Greg Kelly. Now I’m in trouble because there are so many, many more. There’s Chris MacLean, Durham County Poets (who were up for a Juno this year), Brock Zeman, Rick Fines…

About Emmylou Harris – Songbird, Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems

The songs included in this 2007 box set were selected personally by Emmylou. These are not greatest hits, but “personal favourites.” Included are special collaborations, unreleased live and demo tracks, as well as contributions to tribute projects. Here’s a 2007 Emmylou interview about Songbird, Rare Tracks and Forgotten Gems.

About John Hiatt – Bring the Family

In 1987, Hiatt was asked to name his dream band. After little thought, Hiatt replied he’d love to do a record with Ry Cooder on guitar, Nick Lowe on bass, and Jim Keltner on drums. To Hiatt’s surprise, all three were willing to work on his next album. Recording was done in Los Angeles’ Ocean Way Studios over four days. The resulting album is one of the cornerstones of Hiatt’s career, a critical and financial success. The four musician would later reform as Little Village and release an album in 1992.

About Joan Osborne – Songs of Bob Dylan

Allmusic reviewed Osborne’s Dylan tribute album, her first album in three years by saying that “she demonstrates she has a real knack for bringing his words to life. She certainly puts her own spin on these songs. Osborne can bring emotional depth to these songs without going overboard.” Here’s a Joan Osborne interview in Rolling Stone magazine about Songs of Bob Dylan.

About Stephen Fearing

Multi-JUNO winner and founding member of Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Stephen Fearing is considered one of the finest songwriters in Canada and “a king amongst minstrels” (Halifax Chronicle-Herald). During our confinement days, Fearing has been appearing live on Facebook with Under the Hood,  a deep dive into the backstory, lyrics, and performance of a classic Stephen Fearing song.

More from Pat Moore:

Cold Hearted Man live at Ottawa Opry with the Vinyl Frontier – Ann Downey, Pat McLaughlin, Al Bragg, and Alistair Dennett:

At Seventeen live at Pressed Cafe with Roland Doucet and Don Marcotte:

CKCU Saturday Morning
CKCU In My Good Books
Maple Hill
Monroe Sisters
Patricia Jane Jewellery