CD REVIEW – Songs Lived & Life Played


Murray Porter Songs Lived & Life Played


It may have won the Juno Award for Best Aboriginal Album over a year ago, but the messages of Songs Lived, Life Played are timely just the same, and it never hurts to reach out to new listeners with some great music.   Sadly, yes, the legacy of Indian Residential schools lives on and haunts many.  And we still have no answers about the mysterious deaths of so many Aboriginal women in Canada.   We should never forget, but there is much to celebrate too and Murray Porter’s music is a whole lot of fun.

Porter is a Mohawk who grew up on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Southern Ontario, where blues has been a mainstay of the musical diet for years.  He now lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the coast.  He is an exceptional artist, singer, and pianist.

Is Sorry Enough?  references the Federal Government’s apology for the Residential School system in 2008.   Porter’s gravelly voice is perfect for posing this question.  The lyrics “You took away our children… laid waste to our traditions, wasn’t that enough?” sends chills down the spine and tears to the eyes.

Since She Went Away is a moving tribute to the many missing and murdered Aboriginal women within Canada. “did you ever reach out for her in the dark… then you feel like me, ever since she went away.”

Rez Blues and Dog House and I Feel Lucky are superb examples of Porter’s rockin’ feel good toe-tapping rez blues.

Making her songwriting debut is Elaine Bomberry.  She wrote the lyrics for Not So Far Away, Call Me Baby and co-wrote Is Sorry Enough?   Here’s hoping she keeps at it, as she definitely has the chops.

There’s a whole lotta love in this recording, love for his immediate family as well as his larger family across this land.  The Juno award is richly deserved. Bravo.


Murray Porter (Mohawk) on vocals and keyboards; Rick Boulter on guitar; Helene Duguay (Miqmaq/French) on bass and harmonies; Chris ‘The Wrist’ Nordquist on drums. The guest players are: Renae Morriseau (Cree) on harmonies; David Hoerl (The Twisters) guest harmonica on Rez Bluez; and Christopher Allen guest harmonica on `Since She Went Away’ and ‘That Man Was Me’.he Went Away’ and `That Man Was Me’.


Lise Watson



Copyright © 2018 TWAS – Toronto World Arts Scene. Icons by Wefunction. Designed by Woo Themes