|"Morris Picks out His|
Bits of Every Style"
Call a guitarist versatile and it sounds like a second-tier compliment. Rippin'?
Smokin'? Nope, just ...versatile. It takes a musician as good as Danny Morris to show the value of broad range.
With Morris you get everything from old-style blues and rough-hewn blues-rock to
twangy surf and spy to '50s-styled Buddy Holly pop. "I get to pull out all my favorite sounds and styles of music, from the surf sounds to
West Side Chicago blues, and put them on the album," Morris, 31, said recently by phone
from his northern Virginia home. "I don't know if it works on a commercial level, but that's
what was fun about working on the CD." He's referring to his new CD, "Storm Surge" (New Moon), the guitarist-vocalist's second effort. Variety is a key component. There's something here for everyone: "Sad and Blue" will satisfy Stevie Ray fans. "Violated" is a natural for an episode of "The Man from
U.N.C.L.E." "Sweet Honeysuckle" is a bobby-socks-and-fuzzy-dice date with Peggy Sue at
the malt shop. And "Mowgii's Bounce" and "Renee's Cha Cha" come armed with spicy
Cuban rhythms. Instead of sounding disjointed or random, "Storm Surge" rumbles along like a perfectly stocked jukebox of roots-drenched American music. Things weren't always so
diversified. Morris, a Charlotte native who grew up in Chapel Hill and handled guitar duties for the Nighthawks in the early '90s, went through a "purist" stage, a time when all he would play or listen to was hard-core blues. "I guess you go through that in all forms of music to understand it and figure out where they're coming from," he said.
Then he began listening to other genres--mariachi music has been spending a lot of
time in the CD player lately--and new influences slowly started coloring his playing
style.Sometimes the diversity doesn't sit well with the listeners who remain sticklers
for traditional blues, the ones that always, and only, want to hear "Stormy Monday"
or "Sweet Home Chicago." "To me that's like going in and reciting the same
conversation over and over. It's like: We've already talked about that 2 million times
before." "But 90 percent of the time the reception's great."
Who: Danny Morris Band.
When: 10 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Double Door.