|"Danny Morris at the Twist & Shout"
Saturday night, just got paid, where do you go? In Bethesda, you go round the
corner and down the street to the Twist & Shout. Here on any weekend you can
discover rare talent that you will always remember and mesmerizing melodies you will
seek again and again. You will think you've found something special and different. You'll
want to turn your coolest, sweetest friends onto an experience like one you've had here.
Like a special treat of misfile summer, swing, rock and blues... the Danny Morris Band.
I had the fortune to catch Danny playing his guitar one evening at the T& S, It's always
the best times when no one should be watching, but someone is and in this case...it was
me. I watched.Danny Morris play and it seemed to me as I watched, his fingers made
such a beautiful sound on that guitar it was like love. Danny's been playing guitar since
he was 10 years old. He got his first guitar when he was 11. You'd think he should be
pretty good by now...well he's better than good. This guy is talented! DMB surfs up a
variety of music roots, blues and rock melding Latin/Cuban beats, 30s/40s swing and
surfin hop into a unique and transient dish with something for every one.
I talked with Danny after the show. He's so wholesome, and his dimples are
misleading at first. You think he is naive and innocent behind that boyish smile. After
speaking with him, I found a determined, serious minded artist who bears a wealth of
knowledge of music of all kinds, from many countries and time periods. The mind that is
open to all influences, never runs dry of inspiration. (That's my own philosophy. Pretty
good, hub?) This seems to be true for DMB. All but five songs on the new CD, Storm
Surge, are originals. At least two of his originals are instrumentals. Two in particular are
favorites of mine and many others. "Mowgii's Bounce" (yes, the little boy from the
Jungle Book) is a lively yet heartfelt tune, lending to playful days swinging in trees and
picking paw paws from the prickly pear. Ahh, the bear necessities of life!! The melody
takes you away from the anxt of today into a realm of dance and delight. Who doesn't
want to go there? They can follow the rats out of town. Danny says Henry Mancini
inspired "Mowgii's Bounce."
The other instrumental is "Rene's Cha Cha," namesake being Rene Bloch, a Cuban
orchestra leader of the 30s. Danny arranged this tribute to Mr. Bloch, struck a beat,
added twists of his crisp lemon guitar liquor and created a score reminiscent of Havana
in it's hay day. Sunsets, warm breezes, beautiful women, passion of love and music fill
the air as you can imagine yourself moving to the beat that makes you smile and laugh.
You think, in spite of yourself, it's a sweet life...order another pina colada. Si gracias!
The DMB trademark is a dark-haired tropical beauty (found on his guitars, T-shirts and
CDs) lending mystery to the sad undertones of DMB blues. Songs like "Can't Stop
Lovin", "That's Alright" and even "Walk Right Up To Me" hint of heartache. You
wonder if passion found under the boardwalk was love left crashing in the waves
somewhere between Pensacola and New Orleans. Still, DMB continues to hit the road,
his long love, music, first in his life. He says one day he'll find the right girl and then he'll
know when to settle down and have a family. He has dreams but has been implementing
definite plans to reach those goals.
Danny is a multifaceted individual. He played with the Nighthawks, recorded two CDs on his own, runs in the Marine Marathon every year, will soon have his pilot's license, writes his own lyrics and music, and manages the DMB. He met Quentin Tarantino at a
bar in the Keys. After diggin his music, Quentin lined him up for a part in a future movie.
Danny's rendition of'Miserlou" always gets the Pulp Fiction cult grooven. Last month,
DMB got a rockin' review in the Washington Post, written by Mike Joyce. Mr. Joyce
told listeners of the new DMB CD to "buckle up." Danny said that was cool. In fact, the
new CD is totally cool. The Cuban/Mariachi, the spring break surfin swing toons and
the bittersweet blues make for a great mix for the soul. As I said before, it is very
enjoyable to watch Danny Morris move his hands over his guitar while you, yourself are
being swept away by the sounds.