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Carried Away
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Almost four years ago, I met two teenage girls and a twenty-year-old young woman in a hotel lobby, just outside Toronto, Canada. We were experiencing a blizzard and the temperatures were frigid. As we sat and chatted about their fledgling music careers, I realized I was in the presence of some very unique and special young ladies. I was impressed with the ministry focus maturity of sisters Colleen and Pam Walker, as well as their cousin Christine Prankard. The three girls, who had formed a group known as Carried Away, were two weeks away from releasing their self-titled debut CD, produced by Otto Price. 
Since our initial meeting, I have met the three of them on several occasions, reviewed their concerts and followed their careers closely. On August 28th, Carried Away released their second project,  I Want You, a twelve track CD comprised of eleven original tunes and a new arrangement for an old hymn. 
I Want You opens with two incredible songs "Black & White," and "Just Believe," songs that testify to their faith and provide further evidence that Carried Away are the heirs apparent to ZoeGirl. Carried Away's signature harmonies, up tempo music and contemporary style appeals to a broad range of ages, but will particularly catch the ear of youth.

Today, Carried Away, which have already established that they are the top Christian performers in Canada, appear poised for a major breakthrough in the American market. In support of "Mystery," the first single from  I Want You, the trio spent the summer crisscrossing the United States. Their extensive tour visiting radio stations included stops in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, before they blitzed the eastern seaboard. They also performed at music festivals in Montana and Michigan, before embarking on a four-month tour with Jump 5 that will not conclude until December.
Despite Carried Away's growing popularity, as I spoke to Pam and Colleen Walker on the telephone, I was pleased to find that they were still the same sweet, down-to-earth young women and had not lost their passion for ministry. The young women who got their start winning regional talent contests in their hometown of Brampton, Ontario (Canada), have retained a sense of humility and gratefulness despite the fact, as with every music career, it has at times been a grind, had its share of adventures, some that were highlights and others more disappointing.
The trio first began working on the CD I Want You in 2006, and the songs spent a great deal of time in the creative incubator. "It was a slow, slow process and nothing seemed to be coming together. We took that year in Nashville and used it to write tons and tons of songs. In March of 2007 we got together with (producer) Rob Hawkins," said Colleen.
Carried Away did some collaborative writing with Hawkins previous committing to the former guitarist with Rebecca St James, for the I Want You project. "He has the ability to listen to us and hone in on our style. We hit it off with him on a personal level, and we feel like he brought out the best in our music and lyrics," Colleen continued.
Pam picked up the conversation, "We wrote all of the songs (for this CD) with the exception of "Holy, Holy, Holy." The year of writing gave us the opportunity to get the best of the best songs that we could. Some of the songs came from personal experiences and others came from lyrics and music that God gave to us."
The fact that songs such as "Feel It Inside," "Your Love," and "I Want You," originated within their personal lives is important to Carried Away, as Pam explained, "There is a big difference between performing songs that you have written, versus songs that other people have written. You have more of a connection with the ones that you have written."
Colleen said that the song "I Want You" "is more personal to me because I wrote it resulting from my personal devotional time with God. I had my guitar out, and I was feeling down on myself. Sometimes I go through times in my life when I feel really distant from God, and feel like I have let Him down. There was nothing bad, but I just wasn't happy with the everyday choices that I was making. I said I want you (God) and that's it. The song really sums up where I am in my spiritual walk. I am fed up with choosing other things over God, and letting other things distract me from my relationship with Him."
For their current CD the group decided to include a remix of "Alive," a song which originally appeared on Carried Away's debut album. "Alive" is one of my favorite songs to perform live, because the message is simple, but one that needs to be heard. The whole salvation message is in that song. I think that it is powerful. I am so grateful to be serving a God who is alive, and that is there for me day in and day out. I don't serve a God who is dead, can't hear me, or is a statue. I serve a living God, who is powerful and awesome," said nineteen-year-old Pam.
Pam continued, "Since our first record, Carried Away is better known in Canada than it is in the United States. We really wanted to put "Alive" on the second record [also]. We really wanted to get it out there one more time and give people a chance to hear it."
The hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" was recorded with new arrangements. "It is quite different. We had talked about doing it with the regular three-part harmony, but we wanted to do something a little different, and a little more abstract. Some people may be a little shocked. We have received mixed reviews. Some people really like it, while others don't really care for it," said Pam. 
Even though Colleen is the oldest member of Carried Away, at the still young age of twenty-three (Christine is twenty-two), the three young women are already considered to be role models for today's young women. Through personal growth conferences, working through organizations such as Women of Faith and opportunities like a recent mother and daughter conference in Sacramento, California, the trio regularly engage young women from the stage through their dialogue and music and one-on-one encounters.
"They don't just see us as the three girls in Carried Away (who are) on stage, but they look at us as real people to whom they can talk about the things that they are dealing with. That is really encouraging to see," said Pam, adding that sometimes all that is needed is an encouraging word or sharing an inspirational verse from the Bible.
Colleen said, "God has called us to be an example to younger women, who are hurting, broken and struggling with everyday life. We want to tell them that it is okay to talk about body image. I believe that God has called us individually and as a group to go to the ends of the world to reach people. I believe that it is God working in us and through us that gives us our strength."
Carried Away's CD I Want You can be purchased digitally and is also on retail shelves throughout North America. There are two reasons to buy it; you will keep three fine role models in front of today's youth, and because they write and sing very good music.
Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer and the publisher of Riveting Riffs, . His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.


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