Morning You Wake

by Norma MacDonald

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Norma MacDonald is a creature of dichotomy; joy/sadness, city/town, past/future, art/science, dog/cat. Her music reflects the mixed feelings of one who is in a constant state of flux along these spectrums and the nostalgia felt for both extremes.

The New Waterford, Nova Scotia native's third album “Morning You Wake”, produced by Halifax multi-instrumentalist Phil Sedore (Amelia Curran, Catherine MacLellan), is undoubtedly the songwriter’s most diverse collection of sounds and stories to date. From the starry-eyed waltz Bright as you Dare, to the Neko Case-ean Comeback Kid to the elegiac Springsteen flood-of-emotion of Swollen Sky, her sound mixes the sincerity and grit of car stereo old-country with the polish and sophistication of satellite radio North-Americana. This latest recording also finds MacDonald tackling her hometown’s history; Blackhearts of the Company is based on the life of William Davis, a coal miner that was shot and killed by mining company police during a protest in 1925.

Producer Sedore plays over a dozen instruments on the latest record, complementing but not overshadowing a band of top East coast musicians, including Brian Murray (The Guthries) on drums, Adam Fine (Gypsophilia) on bass, Kev Corbett on percussion and Ruth Minnikin on vocals.


released June 7, 2011

Produced by Phil Sedore (Amelia Curran, Catherine MacLellan)



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Norma MacDonald Halifax, Nova Scotia

Norma MacDonald likes Gram Parsons records, potato chips, talking to strangers, David Lynch movies and swimming in the ocean. Her fourth album, "Burn the Tapes" was recorded over 13 months in rural Upper Musquodoboit, NS.


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Track Name: Blackhearts of the Company
We pay the bills we can't ignore
And the rest we owe to the Company Store
With 9 kids and one on the way
You do what you gotta do for pay

For 20 years you break your back
Miles under the ocean black
Up before the sun could rise
That light it never touched your eyes

But the Company never did care
'Bout the black lungs of the boys down there
So we'll raise our fist so the world will see
The blackhearts of the Company

Then they cut your wages by a third
I still remember when we heard
A cry went up all through the town
Said "we'll bring those greedy bastards down"

And all the men they just walked out
From the earth below and stood devout
Then the Company showed their souls of black
Said then we'll have to freeze or starve you back

And the whole town sang a union chant
As we marched down to the Power Plant
Police there said you won;t get through
"You'll be beggin' when we're through with you"
Words came to push, push came to shove
And the shots they rang out from above
You looked the devil in the eye
He shot your heart and hoped you'd die

Now your son Will was born today
And we'll take flowers to your grave
And pray your fight wasn't in vain
Please let there be something to gain

Now I hope somebody out there cares
'Bout the black lungs of the boys down there
Haven't we known for all eternity
That greed's bred in authority
And I hope that things won't be the same
'Cause of the day that bears your name
When we raised our fist so the world could see
The Blackhearts of the Company