Craig Morrison & the Momentz
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Craig Morrison & the Momentz

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Folk

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Feb
11
Craig Morrison & the Momentz @ Oscar Peterson Concert Hall

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Feb
10
Craig Morrison & the Momentz @ Oscar Peterson Concert Hall

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Feb
06
Craig Morrison & the Momentz @ Oscar Peterson Concert Hall

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Morrison and his band create a very highly spirited and authentic-sounding rockabilly groove on "Mama Don't You Think I Know," featuring a fabulous walking bass line. John McDiarmid plays some ferocious blues piano work during "On the Road Again," which Morrison learned from a Memphis Jug Band recording. Morrison's guitar sings expressively throughout the album. He broaches a number of styles, from Chuck Berry-like double stop solos, chorded solos in a rockabilly style and jazzy single note lead lines. His lead and rhythm playing is consistently tasteful and pleasingly melodic. Admirers of rockabilly and blues guitar playing will find some fine moments here. – Chris McDonald - Canadian Folk Music Bulletin


Longtime Montreal resident and Victoria BC native Morrison is a York University-trained ethno-musicologist and author who has, oddly enough, been a professional musician since high school. The title of his first book, Go Cat Go! Rockabilly Music and Its Makers, pretty much sums up the music on this CD but it's played honestly and the blues roots of the music are evident, particularly in the heartfelt tribute to Vann "Piano Man" Walls: "When Captain Vann Plays The Blues", "One Mint Julep" and "Boogie Woogie Country Girl". – John Valenteyn - Toronto Blues Society


The Oscar Peterson Concert Hall seemed to shrink as it filled with people. A spontaneous aural communication arose between musicians, instruments, and audience, allowing a head bobbing, knee slappin' excitement to permeate the air from beginning to end. Performers joked with their audience. The theatre audience cheered, stomped and sang along from their seats. - Hanna Munneke, February 5, 2003 - The Concordian


The intimate concert hall was filled to seating capacity, with an audience ranging from students to seniors. The professionalism and enthusiasm of the band was clearly nothing but strong and present. Morrison’s guitar solos and fingering technique was alive and to the mark. Morrison and his band performed a superb set. -Simon Gee on Craig Morrison & the Momentz' 9th Annual Roots of Rock and Roll Concert, February 3, 2006. - unpublished


Musicologist Morrison is best known to Montrealers for his fun and informative McGill and Concordia lectures on the history of rock. Now he has put to use what he teaches, laying down an album of vintage tunes and originals. Morrison pays homage to pal and collaborator Vann (Piano Man) Walls, Handsome Ned and other lesser knowns of the rock world. The playing is loose, but driven. – Mary Lamey - Montreal Gazette


Craig Morrison is many things: an ethnomusicologist, an author, a teacher, and a performer. Recently, he realized that what he really is, an ambassador for music. In his own way, Morrison is like folk song hunter Alan Lomax and John Hammond, the famed producer and organizer of the Spirituals to Swing concert, which brought black music into the white spotlight for the first time. - Sarah Geledi, February 2, 2005 - The Concordian


The CD is superb. You did such a good job on vocals and guitar. I really like it: high grade and thoroughly enjoyable. You’ve really got something good there, Craig. – Glenn Honeycutt, Memphis rockabilly legend - correspondence


Friday, February the 8th, 2006, the Oscar Peterson Hall hosted the 9th Annual Roots of Rock n’ Roll Concert. Immediately after the first song, you could see Craig Morrison’s ease and earthiness. He performs naturally, and intimately. Craig’s relationship with the crowd is instantaneous and amusing. It is obvious that he is at home on the stage. One left with the impression that he/she had just participated in a close, intimate concert for 20 people; however, the concert hall was full.
Both Morrison and the band played with energy and a sort of nostalgia. The professionalism of the performers peaked through. The audience liked every moment of the night. In all, the show was great, the performance energetic, and the songs well picked. The tickets, averaging between five and ten dollars, were quite affordable and worth more than the price paid. The concert is definitely among the best that Montreal has to offer in the roots genre. - Luc Landry

- unpublished


As Craig Morrison proudly walked on stage and sat at the piano, it was apparent the audience was in for a treat Friday night at Concordia’s Oscar Peterson Concert Hall. It was the 11th Annual Roots of Rock and Roll concert, dubbed “Great Balls of Fire: Memphis Blues, Country, Rock and Soul,” and featuring a team of 17 players - Craig Morrison and the Momentz and a slew of guests. They were there to perform classics from the early 20th century to the 1970’s, from early Memphis blues to Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Dusty Springfield.
The atmosphere was light as Morrison led the band throughout the evening. He joked with the audience and educated them with a mini history lesson of the songs he was about to perform. He has a natural knack for interacting with a crowd, even encouraging them to sing along. His sincere delivery seemed to give more meaning to the already profound lyrics of the songs.
There seemed to be a genuine connection between the musicians as they were playing and singing to each other, as well as the audience. Each song was sung with precision, paying homage to the original artists. BellA stood out when it came to vocals. Her wailing performance made you wonder why she wasn’t yet topping the album charts with her soulful renditions.
The audience was clearly pleased: dancing throughout and laughing as the musicians exchanged playful banter. When asked what feeling he would like the audience to get as they’re listening to his music, Morrison simply said "joy."
- by Pina Luscri - The Concordian, February 5, 2008


The theme of the evening was a tribute to Memphis with a diverse program from the well known to the obscure. The Oscar Peterson Concert Hall was almost brimming with students, music enthusiasts, and friends of Craig Morrison and his accompanists.
The concert mixed country, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and soul with styles varying from jug band music to rockabilly. Instrumentation progressed from mostly acoustic guitars and fiddles for the country and blues section of the first set, to electric guitars for the second set, adding a tight four-piece horn section for the rock and soul segment, and the impressive sound of the back-up singers. There were 17 performers on stage at various moments of the night.
BellA sang versions of “I Can’t Stand the Rain” by Ann Peebles and “Just a Little Bit” by Rosco Gordon that were absolutely amazing. A spine-tingling soul voice that’s absolutely perfect for the genre. Gary Sharkey blew the crowd away with his booming voice while keeping near perfect time on his drum kit. The musicians gave a stellar performance that will keep people coming back to the annual show for years to come.
- Lisa D, 2008 - unpublished


Discography

Craig Morrison & Friends: Blowing in the Wind: A Tribute to Bob Dylan & his Musical World (2011)

Craig Morrison & the Momentz, Vintage Wine, The Never-Be Brothers: Stand By Me: Blues, Rhythm & BLues, Motown and Soul (2010)

Craig Morrison & the Momentz, Vintage Wine, The Never-Be Brothers + guests: That'll be the Day: Buddy Holly and Friends Remembered (2009)

Craig Morrison & the Momentz: Live at the Oscar (Gala Records, 2006)

Craig Morrison & a Couple of Momentz: Live at Zeke's Gallery Vol.30 (2003)

Craig Morrison & the Momentz: Rocket Radio (7 Nights Music, 1999). The CD includes "Boogie Woogie Country Girl," named as one of Quebec's top 10 blues recordings of 2000.

Boppin' In Canada (Nervous, 1991). This British compilation of Canadian rockabilly includes "Gal Named Jo" by Craig Morrison & the Momentz.

Photos

Bio

Craig Morrison is an ambassador for music, an ethnomusicologist involved with rock & roll and soul and their roots: blues, R&B, country, folk, jazz, gospel, and pop. Active as a musician, author, and teacher, Morrison started the Momentz in 1985 after moving to Montreal from Victoria, on Canada’s west coast.

In the 1990s on the Quebec blues festival circuit, Craig and his band backed R&B legend Vann "Piano Man" Walls, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation for his contributions to recordings of Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, the Clovers, the Drifters, Brownie and Sticks McGhee and others on the Atlantic label in the 1940s and '50s. Several of these songs are still part of the Momentz' repertoire.

Craig Morrison & the Momentz have helped to keep rock and roll and its roots alive for more than two decades. They have gigged around Montreal and the province of Quebec, performing in all types of venues: nightclubs, hotels, concert halls, reception halls, radio stations, studios, tents, gazebos, trains, synagogues, outdoor festivals, agricultural fairs, department stores, book stores, subways, hospitals, parks, classrooms, restaurants, and private homes.

For the past 14 years, the band has hosted an Annual Roots of Rock and Roll Concert. Several CDs from these have been released: Live at the Oscar (2006), That'll be the Day: Buddy Holly and Friends Remembered (2009), Stand By Me: Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Motwon and Soul (2010), and Blowing In the Wind: A Musical Tribute to Bob Dylan and his Musical Worlds (2011). The event is held at Montreal's Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, named for the legendary jazz pianist who grew up nearby.

Craig Morrison wrote what has been called the definitive book on rockabilly, Go Cat Go! Rockabilly Music And Its Makers (University of Illionios Press), as well as an encyclopedia called American Popular Music: Rock and Roll (Facts on File). His Ph.D thesis, called Psychedelic Music in San Francisco: Style, Context, and Evolution, is available on amazon.com. Craig teaches Rock And Roll And Its Roots as well as Pop/ Soul And Its Roots at Concordia University. His research includes interviews with over 100 musicians, including blues mandolin legend Yank Rachell (who first recorded in 1929), pianist Joe Hunter (one of Motown's celebrated Funk Brothers), and pioneers of many early styles, from country gospel and R&B to rockabilly and psychedelic folk rock.