Inch By Inch from Pam Gadd

Pamm Gadd has a long history in bluegrass music as a player, singer, and songwriter. While many people’s primary memory of Gadd was her time with Wild Rose in the late ’80s and early ’90s, she had been active in bluegrass and country both before and after.

Starting out in 1979 with Ohio’s Muddy River Band, Pam showed herself as an early female pioneer on banjo and vocals. She toured with them for several years until a call came from country artist Johnny Russell, who hired her to sing with his show. Like many young female artists in the 1980s, she also did a stint with the New Coon Creek Girls, initially at Renfro Valley in Kentucky, but then striking out on their own, but left them to be a founding member of Wild Rose with Wanda Vick.

Wild Rose enjoyed several years of pop country success with Capitol Records, with a sound that mixed bluegrass and country. Pam left after seven years for the promise of a solo record deal in Nashville that never materialized, leaving her both disillusioned and homesick. After a time singing harmony vocals with Patty Loveless, she returned to the New Coon Creek Girls on banjo in 1996, and found a new friend in Dale Ann Bradley who was running the band.

Next was four years as duet partner for Porter Wagoner on the Opry, which concluded with his passing in 2007, precisely the same role that had given Dolly Parton her big break in 1967. Ever since, Gadd has continued to perform and record her original music, though a bit less aggressively these days.

A brand new single is now available from an upcoming solo project, one called Inch By Inch, which finds Pam singing and playing banjo.

She says that it’s a song about keeping your head down and taking care of business, and despite the theme being a bit trite, it brings a message that will benefit anyone who applies it.

“This past year, as I wrote and arranged the songs chosen for my next album,  I continually found myself coming back to this simple, yet profound truth. A friend reminded me over the phone one discouraging afternoon, counseling, ‘My mother always said, ‘Inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard, life is hard.”

I sort of laughed at the cliché phrase, and yet, I really heard what it meant. Weeks later, I found myself coming back to that idea. Then one afternoon, with banjo in hand, I began singing and weaving rolls around those lines. I warmed with excitement as the song started piecing itself together.

That amazing muse is what I am most grateful for as an artist. Oh, how it heals my heart to go to that place of creating and expressing and storytelling. Dedicated to the journey, no matter how many detours along life’s way… just keep beginning from where you are right now. That is, after all, all there ever really is; right now. Don’t give up. You’ve got this, inch by inch.”

Support comes from Gadd’s Wild Rose bandmate Wanda Vick Burchfield on fiddle and reso-guitar, Shaun Richardson on guitar and mandolin, and Mark Burchfield on bass. Nancy Given Gardner adds harmony vocals.

Have a listen…

Inch By Inch from Pam Gadd is available now from popular download and streaming services online. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.