Andrew Morris
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Andrew Morris


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


"Union Bars Review"

Those who know the Andrew Morris secret can often be heard sighing and lamenting the fact the prodigious Brisbane talent has not yet reached the wider audience he deserves. Like his two previous efforts album No. 3 exudes that same feeling of expectation something bubbling away with all the excitement of a treasure waiting to be discovered. There is still that Neil Youn, circa-Harves flavour permiating through those instantly recognisable scorched, sunburnt vocals, but Union Bars continues more int he rock vain of its predecessor from last year, the electrified Balleys. Highlights include the steady paced rocker Here You Are There You Go, the Elton John honky-tonk pianos of LA and the simplicity of the drum-driven and barely-there electric guitar on Overtime. And don't forget You Are Everything That I', Not, a lovely little number with some biting lyrics woven through one of the catchiest melodies yet. In fact, if Morris had the profile of Pete Murray et al, his vocals would be ranked among the best in the country. Surely that secret can't be kept much longer. - Courier Mail Review

"Valleys - Album Review"

4 stars

Brisbane troubador Andrew Morris has delivered one of the best local
releases this year, defining his own musical identity with this confident collection. His wonderful 2004 debut album 'Little by Little' was inward in its focus and based on country stylings, but 'Valleys' is a bigger record; more instruments, more sounds and, ultimately, more
And that gives 'Valleys' songs such as 'Station Road, Tempe' more hips,
more swagger. That said, Morris still has the ability to take things down a notch, tracks such as 'Beaten and Blown' swaying behind a piano
and acoustic guitar. But in there, alwyas is that voice: big, emotive,
tender, soft, but rough if it needs to be.
Take the first single 'Let it Roll', a cracking slice of blues electric
guitar with Morris spitting out the lyrics high up above: "Let it roll,
let it roll, let it open up my soul!".
'Valleys', with its heartfelt and humble interpretations sounds just as open and honest.

Patrick Lion
- The Daily Telegraph

"Out of the Shadow (article)"

Andrew Morris's new album sets him up as a solo artist in his own right. Patrick Lion reports

THE West End cafe strip is, as per usual, dotted with an array of hippies, artisans and caffeine addicts – all out on this sunny Brisbane morning as if there's no work to be done.
Inside one coffee house is the hirsute Andrew Morris, sipping quietly on a cup of tea.
He has good reason to be relaxed. Rock 'n' roll is supposed to be a young man's game but, at 29, and after more than a decade in the industry, Morris is finding his feet.
His new record Valleys, the follow-up to 2004's humble but brilliant Little By Little, hears him sounding better than ever backed by mates The Dry Bones.
But to understand what it means for Morris to arrive in his own right, it's important to understand he has spent much of his career – in most respects unfairly – in the shadow of Powderfinger.
Granted, there are enough links to build an argument: he plays guitar in Finger's frontman Bernard Fanning's solo band, admits there are similarities in vocal styles, records at Fanning's house and plays the same style of music.
Heck, in the late '90s his band Palladium were dubbed "Palladifinger".
It's not so much that Morris has attempted to ape Fanning or ride his coat tails. It's more that these two draw from the same well of inspiration, filled by artists such as Neil Young before them.
Morris picks up the story in the late 1980s when, as a teenager, he began taking his first steps into the music arena. It wasn't a world unfamiliar to his family. Morris's father played in '60s beat act The Allusions, which tasted some success.
Morris still remembers the guitars lying around the house, the different colours and sounds.
About the same time he discovered Neil Young's Harvest.
"Music has always had the strongest effect on me," Morris says. "I was never interested enough in study at high school."
He formed a band with some school mates which would eventually become Palladium, and at 17 he used a fake ID to get into the old Metropolis club in the city to see a promising local band called Powderfinger.
"I'm sure that period influenced me greatly," Morris says. "The Brisbane music scene was a very fruitful place to be back then and for me it was the first time I'd become aware of it."
He met Fanning around this time and soon enough they were musical colleagues, friends, flatmates and, now he admits, mentor and protege.
In the late '90s, Morris's band Palladium was signed with a major label and released their CD debut Sister Flute and the Sunday Best, which was savaged by critics.
"Where do we start here?" Morris says, laughing. "It was pretty much like Spinal Tap the whole way. We didn't have a lot of luck and were treated pretty unfairly by the press with the Powderfinger thing which is why I am so paranoid about it now.
"It was a shame because we were very honest guys and weren't trying to copy anything. It was the label's great marketing idea to push that whole angle."
When the group ended in 2003, he found a new course performing solo.
"I'd never done a solo gig until that period," Morris says, adding it has allowed him the freedom to explore his own, often country, tastes.
"I think I am only now finding my feet with the whole genre."
Whereas Little By Little was a record of small ideas, Valleys, recorded at Fanning's home studio in Brisbane's outer west for mates rates in January, has a bigger sound with more instruments, ideas and rock.

But while the heartbeat might be faster on Valleys, the writing process remains the same – Morris coming up with ideas on his back porch while sipping tea. If needed, The Dry Bones adds the flesh in his lounge room.
"I was recently watching a documentary on ABBA and they were talking about writing songs and saying you've got to be there when the song arrives.
"I think you have to put the time in to let a song come, be consumed by it, or flop around the house in a pair of thongs until something arrives."
Valleys is an album that deserves to shoot the Morris name to the top of the charts for the first time in 40 years. But does he want it to be there?
"I'd love to sell more records to be more comfortable and do more stuff production-wise. I'm definitely not rolling in cash or own three houses but I can also go surfing any day of the week I want to.
"I'd like to stop paying rent and buy a house one day. It's the Australian dream, isn't it?"
- The Courier Mail

"Valleys Album Launch Live Review"


The Zoo: 10.11.06

Making one of their all-too-rare live appearances, it appears local brothers-in-arms act The Gallagher Bros have been busy honing their craft away from the spotlight. Augmented by an additional guitar, they seem to have dug deep to mine even more soul into their warm, acoustic ballads. Their harmonies are on fire tonight, particularly on ‘The Only Thing’.

A leaner, meaner version of The Gin Club take the stage and exorcise a few demons with a defiantly bruising musical encounter. New track ‘10 Paces Away’ sets the mood, first harnessing Crazy Horse only to gallop away with a sound more akin to My Morning Jacket. Brad Pickersgill’s ‘Campus Blues’ is a standout, while old salty dogs ‘Drugflowers’ and ‘Wylde Bitch’ howl sweetly at the moon.

As a sea of cascading colour brightens the stage, one briefly wonders if the lighting engineer hit the wacky tabaccy during the set change. Instead, as Andrew Morris and his band of merry men appear, it’s evident we’re in for a special night. Morris is backed by a full accompaniment: a game-fit Danny Widdicombe on guitar, the moustachioed Chris Brady on bass, while The Gin Club’s Scotty Regan and Dan Marsden take drums and keys respectively. Even recently-departed drummer, ‘Father’ Dave Gilbert, is there, guesting on percussion, backing vocals and drums.

It makes for a tight unit as they rip through cuts from Valleys, the album Morris is launching tonight. ‘You Give Me Reason’, ‘Station Road, Tempe’ and ‘Beaten & Blown’ all gain an airing, and sound even more vibrant on stage. ‘You’re Makin’ It Hard’ rocks with its balls out, and sounds even more like the illegitimate, county bumpkin cousin of AC/DC.

Vocally, Morris sounds better than ever, and when he breaks out the occasional old track like ‘Rattle The Head, Rattle The Snake’, it’s evident how far he’s come to find his own voice. He dedicates ‘Shining’ to his absent parents, who apparently can’t take the late nights. Given his Dad played in late 60s band The Allusions, its descent into a psychedelic breakdown proves fitting.

Morris leaves recent single ‘Let It Roll’ until late in the set, but the near-capacity crowd aren’t about to cut and run after hearing the hit. As they bay for another encore, it’s a sure bet Morris will get plenty more chances to leave crowds crying for more.

- Time Off

"Little By Little - Album Review"

3.5 stars

Once off Brisbane alt-rockers Palladium, Andrew Morris has set off on a solo songwriting path with a stripped-back nod to some of his favourite artists. Thus the plaintive strains of Neil Young, John Fogerty and the Band echo in titles such as 'Let it Rain', 'Shine On', and 'Rattle the Head/Rattle the Snake' respectively. Thankfully, there's more going on here than mere tribute. Morri's voice, when he lets if go, has a sleek, penetrating tone that shines to best effect on the acoustic-tracks, especially the luscious opening 'Don't Know Love Anymore' and the James Taylor-esque 'Passing By'. The album was recorded at Bernard Fanning's Leafy Bug (home) Studios and the Powderfinger singer also co-produced and appears on a handful of songs. One can hardly find fault there or in the material's influences. All Morris has to do is inject even more of himself into the stylings he so obviously adores.

Ian Shedden - The Australian


Little By Little (LP) 2004
Valleys (LP) 2006, Rubber Records / EMI, feat. 'Let it Roll' which received extensive airplay
Union Bars (LP) 2007, ABC / Warner


Feeling a bit camera shy


Sometimes an artist’s creative evolution can be painstaking and protracted, a process whereby a subtle transformation occurs over a long period of time and which can be difficult to pick up for the casual observer.

At the opposite end of the spectrum such artistic change can often prove to be swift, with a massive artistic leap being made in between two projects which are linked chronologically, but which prove to be miles apart from each other in a stylistic sense.

This latter – more rapid -– course of action has recently been embraced by celebrated Brisbane musician Andrew Morris, whose third solo album Union Bars is a stunning departure from the sound and feel of his previous, critically-acclaimed, work. Released less than a year after his 2006 sophomore effort Valleys, Union Bars represents a marked creative progression: a move away from the country-rock feel of his former output, a development which will appease his existing fanbase but which will find him appealing to a whole new discerning audience.

Union Bars was recorded over 12 days at the rural Victorian property of esteemed producer J. Walker (also the musician behind the wonderful indie ensemble Machine Translations). Walker not only produced the album and added the contemporary sheen for which he’s renowned, but the multi-instrumentalist accompanied Morris on 10 of the 11 tracks, the two musicians – and now firm friends – between them accounting for all of the instrumentation on Union Bars.

Walker is better known for his work in the progressive pop field, but on Union Bars he augments Morris’ penchant for classic rock and crunchy guitars with beautiful keyboard flourishes and little melodic hooks that round out the songs beautifully, transforming them into something new and unique while retaining the comfortable feel that made Morris’ previous albums so appealing to so many.

Musically Morris has progressed substantially – he did, after all, tour the world last year as lead guitarist in the band which was assembled to back Bernard Fanning’s phenomenally successful Tea & Sympathy solo project – but it’s in the songwriting stakes where he’s made the biggest artistic strides. Morris fleshes out his dusty Australiana with some more personal reflections and abstract political commentaries, making Union Bars his strongest lyrical achievement to date to complement the new musical direction.

A perfect case in point is infectious first single ‘Here You Are, There You Go’, which pairs thought-provoking, home-spun philosophies with some of the catchiest melodies to emerge from this country in ages. Morris’ organic muse is fleshed out wonderfully by Walker’s technical wizardry and perfect pop sensibilities.

But this song represents only the tip of the iceberg in relation to the impressive achievement that is Union Bars – an album which finds an accomplished musician taking his craft to the next level, and along the way creating a piece of work that is as endearing as it promises to be enduring. Sometimes change can be a thing to be feared, but Union Bars proves that when it is embraced and accepted, the results of such change can often be extraordinary.