N.L. band Figgy Duff honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

Newfoundland band Figgy Duff is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Folk Festival.

Pamela Morgan to accept the award Saturday

(NL Folk Festival)

Newfoundland band Figgy Duff is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Folk Festival. 

The 40th Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival kicked off Friday night in Bannerman Park in St. John's. 
The Folk Arts Society said it's honouring Figgy Duff's role in the province's cultural renaissance and for changing the face of Newfoundland music. 

Figgy Duff member Pamela Morgan, who will accept the award Saturday afternoon, is thrilled with the honour.

"You know, it's a bittersweet thing because the person who spearheaded the band is not around to see it," she said.

Pamela Morgan on Figgy Duff; "We just forged our own path. Some people hated us, some people thought it was fantastic." (CBC)

"I wish he was. And of course there are other members of the band who are no longer with us. It's a lifetime achievement so it makes you think about the lifetime that spawned it."    

Figgy Duff was founded in 1974 by Noel Dinn, who passed away in 1993. 

Morgan recounted how the group's sound was born after Dinn travelled to England with his band at the time, known as Lukey's Boat. 

"Noel heard Fairport Convention and the English bands who were fusing folk with rock and kind of got the idea we could do it with our own living source because Newfoundland, as you know, has a very strong living oral tradition."

Morgan admitted that the band's unique sound wasn't for everyone. 

"Some people hated us, some people thought it was fantastic. You know, it was just so different at the time. I mean, nowadays, there's even a genre called Celtic music, but at the time there really wasn't," she said.

"We just forged our own path."

The band will take the stage for a special reunion performance at the festival at 8 p.m. on Saturday. 

Joining Morgan for the concert will be her brother, George,  Dave Panting, Kelly Russell and Derek Pelley.

Dinn's great-nephew will also accompany the group by playing the drums for a song.  

Morgan said it's been great getting back to the group's music. 

"You know, when we had the rehearsal [earlier this week], it was like putting on an old glove, it just fit so well and felt so good," she said.

with files from Todd O'Brien