The Danny Morris Band
The Danny Morris Band
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The Danny Morris Band
  Lidia Harris - The Virgin Islands Daily News - 3/5/04
Danny Morris Band returns to VI for 2-week tour

    It's been two years since the Danny Morris Band has been to the Virgin Islands, and they're making up for lost time.
    Witsend Productions has the band busy through March 14. The tour began on Wednesday at Paradise Point on St. Thomas, and the group performed Thursday at the Gecko Gazebo on St. John. Now in full surfer swing, the Danny Morris Band will play on all three islands. Danny, Mark Grabowski and Ray Satcher are fall backs to another era surfer music. They play a lot of instrumentals, "Walk Don't Run" and "Secret Agent Man," for example, and Danny sings tunes such as "Kansas City" and "Help Me Information (Get in Touch with My Marie)."
    Grabowski is featured on drums and Satcher is on bass. The group's latest CD, "The Golden Prize," is Morris' third CD for New Moon Records.
    Dressed like beach boys in their ordinary shorts, the trio fits right into island life in the V.I. On Wednesday, Grabowski sat barefooted behind his drum set, and Satcher wore flip-flops.
    If you were around in the 1960s, you'll recognize recognize the steady beat that comes from The Danny Morris Band. You know, the beat that sets you in a mellow groove, makes you want to kick back with your friends and hang out at the beach. Watch the waves roll in. Jump in the water to play war with the girls on top of the boys' shoulders. Sip a few. Sneak a kiss. Laugh. Dance. And all without a care in the world ... well, except making it home on time for morn's home-cooked dinner.
    With roots in Charlotte, N.C., Danny Morris wasn't expected to become a surf-rock guitarist, especially since when he was growing up most of that kind of music was only played in the opening credits of "Pulp Fiction" or reruns of "Hawaii Five-0" and the like.
    But the guitar player just couldn't stay away from the surfing sounds of the '50s and '60s. Still, he's not exactly a purist. Morris combines surf music with the blues, a little rock-a-billy and even some punk to create his own sound.
    Morris said he that even as a child he was into the blues and his older brother listened to lots of Led Zeppelin. And in ninth grade, the future musician wrote a paper in which he had to prove that rock and roll came from the blues.
    He was especially attracted to roots and surf music because what sounds he could do on his guitar.
    Music critic Bob Weinberg of City Link noted that "Morris inhabits that territory where blues and surf meet, not much of a stretch when you consider some of the same guitar dynamics were employed by blues masters like Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. Morris simply follows the connections to their logical conclusions, then blows them all to hell."
    Morris has been compared to Dick Dale, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Duane Eddy and The Ventures, and in the early '90s he played lead guitar for the Nighthawks. In 1995, the Danny Morris Band was going full bore, so its leader left the Nighthawks.
    With influences such as Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters and Duane Eddy, Morris thinks of himself as working "outside the box." And so do the rest of his band.
    Now based in Cocoa Beach, Fla., the band performs mainly along the East coast and southern United States, but trips also have been made to California and, of course, the Virgin Islands. Morris has said that "right now I'm listening to a lot of Caribbean, Cuban and a lot of traditional Mexican music. Lately, I've also been trying to lend an ear to what's current ... what's on the radio ... especially the three-piece bands.

St. Thomas
Friday and Saturday: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Offshore Bar.
Sunday: 7 to 10 p.m., Hull Bay Hideaway.
Monday: 7 to 10 p.m.. Tickles Dockside Pub.
Wednesday: 6 to 9 p.m.. Paradise Point,
Thursday: 7 to 10 p.m., Jack's Wings.

St. John
Thursday 9 p.m. to 1 a.m, Gecko Gazebo .
Tuesday: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Beach Bar.

St. Croix
March 12: 7 to 10 p.m., St. Croix Yacht Club.
March 13: 2 p.m., Luncheria, after the parade.
March 14: 2 to 6 p.m., Bobby's BBQ at Solitude Store

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