Mohawk Turtle Clan, Six Nations born & bred, this Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/pianist has a new album for us to enjoy. His last one, the JUNO-winning Songs Lived & Life Played, was released in 2012 and Murray Porter has used the time since then to craft some excellent new songs. He describes these songs as ‘a little bit protest, a little bit of love songs and a little bit of fun songs.’ He wants to stress that while he wrote or co-wrote (usually with his partner Elaine Bomberry) these songs, they were nurtured in the community of the band: guitarist and producer Rick Boulter, longtime bassist Helene Duguay and new drummer Michel Bruyere. Protest starts the program with the pounding rocker “The Water”. Written with Elaine, he sings ‘the day we lose it is the day we die’. A blending of native drumming and Bruyere’s drum kit introduces “No More”, a powerful rocker stating emphatically that the Indigenous rights movement will not go away. This one supplies the album’s title as he implores ‘don’t give up, don’t give in’. The first of the love songs is the attractive ballad “Two Hearts & One Soul” written for his son’s wedding. Some fine boogie piano graces “Someday, I’ll Never Learn”, a not always humourous toe-tapper about admitting to past mistakes. The slow blues “Stay Gone” is a well-written leaving song that benefits enormously from a horn section. Another driving rocker highlights the missing women – nobody seems to care where or why she went out on “Highway 16”. Standing up also means recognizing diversity – we’re all in the “Same Canoe”, another blast of rock ‘n’ roll. “Love Will Find A Way”, written with Elaine, has some good advice cloaked in a gorgeous tune. Then some more rock ‘n’ roll with “Laffin’ Lucy”, seemingly about the kind of woman one sees on the dance floor at too many bars. The program concludes with Porter at his piano for “Don’t Let Go”, an emotional plea to people who think they are alone. Murray is one of our finest singers and with this new set of songs we look forward to his next visit here. Check out his Facebook page.

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