Former member of the Celtic bands Emerald Skye and Gabriel's Gate, and a solo performer for many years, Bill Morris sets foot on digital soil with his first CD release "Walkin' There."
"I get compared a lot to James Taylor, and it's no surprise. My first exposure to guitar playing was the album 'Sweet Baby James', and that sound has stayed with me ever since."
At home in the coffee shops in and around his home near Kansas City, Missouri, Bill brings to bear skills in both strumming and finger picking to Celtic and North American music, performing arrangements of the Tommy Sands standard 'There Were Roses' and the more traditional 'Jamie Raeburn' that will surprise and delight the listener.
"'Jamie Raeburn' was the first Celtic ballad I ever learned. It's a story of the loss of home and family, and I think, now more than ever, that resonates deeply with audiences. James Keelaghan's 'Kiri's Piano' is much the same.
"I greatly enjoy the traditional songs - Tae The Beggin', Barnyards of Delgaty - but I'd have to say Jolly Beggarman is my favorite. Frank Blair's bazouki work takes that bouncy, happy tune and makes it so much more fun. That I convinced my wife to sing harmony on it was a small miracle, but she's a singer herself - it's one of those ensemble pieces that I can listen to all day."
There are two original songs on this CD, "White Hills of Home" and "Prairie Departure", two songs that are seeing commercial release for the first time.
"'White Hills of Home' and 'Prairie Departure' are both - more or less - autobiographical. 'White Hills' is a song about a small town in South-Eastern Nebraska called Weeping Water whose main industry is limestone mining. My family - going back a few generations - is from that area, and many of them are buried 'at the top of the hill', as the song says. I spent a lot of summers there as a child.
"'Prairie Departure' is the story of why I was raised in Missouri, not Nebraska where I was born. My father ran afoul of some local loan sharks and the family had to flee the state in the middle of the night.
"I guess it's pretty easy to see how songs of 'home' find their way into my reperatoire, eh?"
Note: Your CD will come opened and autographed unless you specify otherwise. If you'd like a special message, please say so in the order notes.
To hear excerpts of the songs and to check out the liner notes, visit Bill Morris's music blog.
Opened CDs are NOT returnable.