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
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday and Saturday: 9 p.m. to
1 a.m. at Offshore Bar.
Sunday: 7 to 10 p.m., Hull Bay
Monday: 7 to 10 p.m.. Tickles
Wednesday: 6 to 9 p.m.. Paradise
Thursday: 7 to 10 p.m., Jack's
Thursday 9 p.m. to 1 a.m, Gecko Gazebo .
Tuesday: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Beach
March 12: 7 to 10 p.m., St. Croix
March 13: 2 p.m., Luncheria,
after the parade.
March 14: 2 to 6 p.m., Bobby's
BBQ at Solitude Store