The Ennis Sisters conjure legacy with their latest offering, Keeping Time. As a collection of 10 songs, Keeping Time is a concept album that honours and preserves our most precious gift – time, and what we decide to do with it.
“It’s about the passing of time, the loss of traditions, the things we do to hold on to what maters most,” says Maureen Ennis. “At the end of our lives, when the edges of our memories are fraying, and we are falling in and out of time, hopefully, looking back we’ll feel we lived our lives to the fullest with little regret.”
With a Juno Award, SOCAN Award, multiple East Coast Music Awards, and Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards, The Ennis Sisters are Maureen, Karen and Teresa. Their extensive discography spans multiple musical explorations: including; Stages (2015), The Fortunate Ones (2012), Lessons Learned (2009), Be Here For Awhile (2007), Can’t Be The Same (2003), Ennis Sisters (2001), Three (2000), Christmas On Ennis Road (1998), and Red Is The Rose (1997). Their video “Sing You Home,” was featured for The Rooms’ 100th Anniversary of WW1 Battle of Beaumont Hamel Campaign won provincial, national, and international awards.
Keeping Time is reflective yet uplifting, as the album is about keeping time in both life and music. Inspired by the unraveling and tethering of memory, Keeping Time is part homage, part celebration of life, as the album honours their father, who they recently lost to dementia.
The album’s opening track “Keeping Time,” was written by Maureen and Perry Chafe for Karen’s wedding, as her first dance with her father, and references several classic Newfoundland waltzes.
“The idea was to keep the song happy and upbeat rather than sad and happy. Dad has always been a great dancer, and we have many fond memories of waltzing with him at the dances in Cape Broyle.”
“Wheels,” penned by Maureen and Alan Doyle charts life on the road, and how musicians find home on the stage, and in front of an audience, yet eventually make their way back home to family, friends, and familiarity.
“California Wine,” pays homage to losing a loved one to dementia, and the long painful process of watching them gradually fade away, as their memories fall away like grapes on the vine. Songs like “Last of a Kind,” “Sunken Garden,” and “One Sweet Time,” look at tradition, letting go, simpler times, and moving through hardship.
As there are many transitions in life, “Good-bye,” “Go Rosie Go,” and Graham Nash’s “Wasted On the Way,” explores maturation, confidence and courage, and how we can only live the day we’ve been given.
Keeping Time’s epic song, “Daughters of Newfoundland,” showcases the power of resilience, timelessness and honours the many generations of strong women of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We are proud of where we came from. We are the product of the women who came before us and we’re helping to carve the way and be an inspiration for the generation of women to come.”