cameron morgan
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cameron morgan


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"The Ambition Tax"

Written by Jeff Johnson

Cameron Morgan has a message he wants to get across. America has problems; he doesn’t seem to agree with the president and the current state of being. All of these sentiments are his prerogative just as Bobby Brown said. The problem is, for the most part, I could care less about Cameron Morgan’s opinion on these issues. I have opinions of my own, why do I need his take on the status quo? The thing that musicians need to remember is that they are not inherently more credible on issues of politics. Simply because you sing, “Mr. President could you help your kids with the rent/ would love to have the American dream but it’s being shipped overseas,” does not make me feel like you are suddenly more in touch with current issues than I am.

The truth is that most of what is said on this album is way too easy; criticizing the government is not exactly rocket science. You know what is a bit more difficult? Give me your anti-government, anti-status-quo message in a really entertaining way; get me singing along with a message that I don’t even personally believe. That’s really impressive. Take Green Day’s American Idiot for example -- now there’s an album that has young Republicans all over the country rocking out to anti-government sentiments. I think I even saw George W. listening to it on his iPod.

Cameron is a talented enough musician with a good voice and the album is technically sound; it just fails to draw me in. Heaven forbid I should be entertained as I’m force-fed a heaping helping of politics. The fact is, I think most people are pretty disenchanted with politics in general and would just as soon seek just a bit of escapist refuge from their music. Maybe that’s just me, but I doubt it.

There are a couple of nice songs that are a bit less obvious, songs like the whimsical and melodic “I Get Around.” I dig that one. Cameron’s voice really shines here and the message, if there is one, is at least a bit subtler. I feel less beaten over the head by it and that’s a good thing. The 7th cut on the disc is actually a pretty cool guitar instrumental. I like the mood it creates. “Close” is also a terrific song with a swing from ultra mellow and plaintive to cool staccato rocker. At 7 ½ minutes this number really covers a nice spectrum of moods giving it an epic quality. In truth I actually want to like the album because of how good some of the music is. I just can’t quite get into it over all and therefore have to give it a mild pass, mostly because I find myself so often teetering on the edge of boredom while listening to it. -


Debut CD/LP entitled "The Ambition Tax", has received airplay in Los Angeles on KCRW as well as smaller college markets. Being streamed worldwide and available at I-Tunes as well.



"The Ambition Tax is a record for the people", says multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Cameron Morgan.

The Ambition Tax alludes to the inescapable levy imposed on the common man today. It was entirely written and produced by Morgan, who describes this 12-song debut effort as a summation of many of my musical experiences to date.

It's a social-political concept album but it's not like there's a story with continuing characters, Morgan elaborates. I wanted to create an overview of what it's like to live in this particular moment in time when baby boomers have abandoned their ideals and Generation Xers are up to their asses in debt and why having a family doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore.

A spiritual message sung in a plaintive tenor, Zither sets the tone of the album, which ranges from delicate acoustic finger-picking to storming, effects-laden, electric guitar blow-outs.

Beyond playing all the guitars and keyboards heard on the record, Morgan proves himself a supple, earnest vocalist evocative of a less melodramatic Jeff Buckley or the younger Sting wrapping righteous socio-political convictions in Rundgrenesque Anglo-pop confections such as Wake Up Freedom, Falling Down, and Blood Red.

The industrial-strength Bottom Line and the shuffling I Get Around are both tied into the album's titular concerns. In Bottom Line, the music business is just a metaphor, says Morgan. Our whole society is built on the idea that if you work
real hard, you might get a break. But then you realize that it's not how hard you try, it's about how much you can sell yourself.

The jazzy, minor-key Pollution Blues addresses burning ecological issues with a blazing guitar fade that parallels and echoes the fiery images and fretgrinding exit found in Falling Down.

A gently percussive Nov 26, 2004 serves as a peaceful refuge from the album's opening salvo. That song is designed to be a palate-cleanser, explains Morgan, it's if it were the last cut on the first side of the album, which in the case of the
vinyl version of The Ambition Tax it is.

Underscoring the album's release date, the flamenco-flavored 4th Of July is in Morgan's words meant to be celebratory, but takes on a darker vibeas evidenced in the National Anthem-quoting vocal refrain that erupts out of the parade drumming-driven Amerika.

The album's closing tracks, the inexorably building Close and the pop standard-inspired In The Heart, are love songs that yearn for a simpler life that remains tantalizingly out of reach for now.

For my debut album, I wanted to incorporate all these different musical elements into songs that said something about life in 2005 and build from there. This album is just the foundation for the future.
Who is Cameron Morgan?

When Cameron is not performing and writting his original music, he juggles many musical hats...

He performs across the globe, with Mass Ensemble; creators of the worlds longest stringed instruments. The last two Mass Ensemble records, Planet String, (to be released early 2008) and Golden Sun, features him on Aquatar; an instrument that incorporates, Sitar, Bass, Guitar, and Harp Strings. He plays guitar, sings, and writes for this unique group.

He also records and performs in a variety of musical settings from straight ahead and free-form jazz to singer-songwriters, rock, classical, blues, acoustical settings, and soundtrack work.

Here's a sampling of artist's worked with: Jesca Hoop, Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction) and Banyan, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Sinatra (remix), David Lynch, Beenie Maupin (Herbie Hancock), Jerome Dillion (NIN), Tony Franklin, Kofi Baker, Dave Palmer (Fiona Apple), Summer Channel, Deepsky, and Mojo Triage.