It seems odd somehow to feel homesick for a place that is not your home, yet that is the feeling that comes over me when I listen to the traditional songs of Newfoundland and Labrador that fill Kim Stockwood’s Back to the Water.
So strong is the sense of place that flows through the music on this record, so deep the emotional connection she makes, that I feel an overwhelming desire to return to a place I have only visited a half-dozen times in my life as if it were my birthplace.
Back to the Water, simply put, is a love letter to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Through the words and music of some of the province’s finest songwriters, Stockwood speaks to those things which for her, and many others, make Canada’s other Island province a very special place.
She speaks to the rugged beauty of the land and the power of the sea to give life to and nurture a people.
She speaks to the rich culture and centuries old traditions of those who call it home.
And she speaks to the sense of oneness that binds them all together.
Many of the songs Stockwood recorded for Back to the Water are familiar to anyone who grew up on the East Coast — songs like Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary’s, Squid Jiggin’ Ground and Feller From Fortune.
Some, like Petty Harbour Bait Skiff, are little known outside Newfoundland and Labrador.
Stockwood and friends went through a lot of music in preparation for this record before choosing the material they felt fit the record best and, once chosen, spent a lot more time thinking about how they wanted to present it.