|"The Danny Morris Band Rips It Up|
At Ray's Downtown Blues"
I always thought that a blues bar would
be a dark, gloomy place where miserable
people sat in dark corners, chain-smoked
cigarettes and drowned their problems in
their beer. Boy, was I wrong.
My stereotypes were erased on a recent
Saturday when I saw the Danny Morris Band play at Ray's Downtown Blues on
Clementis St. I looked up on the stage and
saw a red, well-used Fender Stratocaster
sitting in its stand just waiting to be
abused. A guy in a red, flower-print, tropi-
cal shirt got up on stage and put the gui-
tar on. What was this? This can't be the
guy who is playing! You're not allowed to
wear "happy" shirts like that in a blues
bar, are you?
My question was answered when the
Danny Morris Band began playing. I
knew that this guy was good - no, that is
an understatement. This guy was insane.
He was sick. From the beginning, Danny Morris played his guitar like a machine
gun, his hands flying up and down the
neck at unheard of speeds. His fingers
nimbly found every note.
I looked around. I wondered, "Am I just
easily amused or is this guy for real?" My
question was answered as I saw the audi-
ence staring at the stage with their jaws
wide open in amazement The Danny Morris Band finished their first song and
were rewarded with loud applause and
The Danny Morris Band is a surf-
rock/blues Band hailing from Washington,
DC. They traveled all the way down to
visit West Palm Beach and let us hear
some great music. The Band consists of
Danny Morris on guitar and vocals,
Paul Barker on bass guitar and Joe Wells on the drums. They play many
covers of old surf rock classics, but they
also incorporate many of their own
original surf and blues songs into their set.
And do they ever play an electrifying set.
They whipped out a surf version of "Secret
Agent Man" and then they covered Dick Dale's "Miserlou," the song made famous
by the movie Pulp Fiction Iocal artist
Nimrod was so impressed he took a break
from his charcoal sketches and did a little
dance to the enjoyment of the audience.
Their version of "Miserlou" was excellent.
They didn't use any horns or special
effects, just Danny on his tremolo-
drenched guitar and bassist Paul doing the
little grunts in the microphone. Danny fur-
ther astonished the crowd by taking his
guitar off and playing it behind his back.
He didn't just play simple chords; he
played stuff that, when played in the nor-
mal position, makes his hands look invisi-
ble because of the high speed. He moved up
and down the neck of the guitar without
even looking. That feat alone was enough
to cover the price of admission.
The Danny Morris Band isn't just a
cover Band. They also have quite a few
original songs. They played several off
their two albums, I Wont Worry and their
newest recording Storm Surge, both on
New Moon. Some of the most memorable
performances were "Garbage Man,"
"Need You So Bad," and the title cut off
the new album. The Danny Morris Band finished up playing a song from
one of Danny's favorite movies. When
they began the opening melody to the
'Theme from The Good, The Bad, And
The Ugly," the crowd went wild.
The Danny Morris Band is special, and
the fans realize that. Bill Davison of West
Palm Beach says, "I like surf music, and
he's definitely done his homework there."
"I like how he mixes the blues and the
surf, "says Brian Barton of Lake Worth.
I had to agree. Danny Morris' blues
didn't make me sad. I wanted to grab a
board and hit the waves, and I've never
surfed in my life. I think the attitude was
unanimous. No one had the blues any-
more when they left Ray's Downtown
Biues that night.