by Charlie Hansen
A couple of months ago I mentioned that Neil Matthews was beginning to record a new CD. Now, this isn’t new for Neil as he’s done this many times before, but this one is special in that it is made up of fourteen duet tracks featuring five of Neil’s female friends and family.
The ladies featured on this CD, Girl’s Night Out, are Jolee Patkai, Gloria Rodgerson, Jeannie Kelly, Jen Hicks and Neil’s daughter, Darlene Matthews. Each in their own right are fine singers but as a group they have put together something special on this project.
Jolee Patkai is well known, especially in eastern PEI, and has made in roads in the music scene across the province as well. Jolee recorded a CD of her own a few years ago called Shore Rhapsody which has done very well for her. She has a very strong and accurate voice which is well represented on her versions of, “We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds,” “Are You Mine” and “Just Between The Two Of Us.”
Gloria Rodgerson is making her return to the music business after an absence of a few years and has recently been concentrating on her song writing. She has a number of fine songs that she is presently demoing. Gloria does a fine job on, “My Baby’s Gone,” “Are You Teasing Me” and “Must You Throw Dirt In My Face.”
Jeannie Kelly has been in the music business on PEI for a number of years and is best known as a karaoke presenter. Jeannie has a very pleasant voice and does a fine job on the classic country songs, “If Teardrops Were Pennies,” “Golden Rings” and “Storms Never Last.”
Jen Hicks, although a performer in dinner theater with a trained voice, makes the transition to classic country seamlessly with, “Country Roads,” “Daddy Sang Bass” and “Jackson.” Jen has also been a performer at Avonlea village with Neil.
Neil’s Daughter, Darlene has been singing since she could talk and is proof that talent runs deep in the Matthews clan. Darlene did a fine job on “Can You Stop The Rising Tide,” a song written by her father and “The Last Thing On My Mind.” Darlene currently lives in Reserve Mines, Cape Breton.
The musical accompaniment was provided by Jimi Platts on lead guitar, Billy Matthews on drums, Thomas Webb on pedal steel and Judy Lowe on keyboard.
A launch for this CD will be held at the Benevolent Irish Society Hall on North River Road in Charlottetown on December 3. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9 pm with an admission of $5 so get there early because I’m sure there'll be a big crowd.
All in all this is a fine CD and a great way to enjoy these classic country duets over and over again.
Until next time don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to Bluegrass Island every Sunday evening at 9:00 on CFCY 95.1 FM in Charlottetown and at cfcy.fm on the world wide web.