Dabney Morris
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Dabney Morris

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos




In Nashville’s pantheon of gods, Dabney Morris is the Thor of thundering emotion. If that doesn't make you stop reading this to go check out his Myspace, there's probably nothing more for you in this article.

Swinging a warhammer of painful beauty, Dabney's catchy choruses and melodic strings have declared a ragnarok upon my chest. I couldn't even finish the Ocean EP without going back to listen to the second track three times.

Truly, this god of thunder has slain the ice giants guarding my twisted and overweight heart. Ocean is a very unique EP in the sense that your favorite song will change on a whim as you sing them to yourself throughout the day. I promise though, you'll end up coming back to track one over and over again. You need to go find this album. But be forewarned, you face a five-headed hydra of uplifting sorrow, give in or have your weapons ready. My weapon was three hours alone with a carton of chocolate milk, which I'll argue, only enhances the pain. -Todd Michael Rogers, 2008 - Deli Magazine


April 20, 2006 - Dabney Morris, born John Dabney Morris II in Virginia, quickly proved himself to be a gifted musician by the age of 8. His piano playing soon led to drumming at age 11. But according to Morris, that was only the beginning.

After studying at Appalachian State University's Hayes School of Music, Morris' musical horizons expanded beyond his early influences like The Beatles and Rufus Wainwright. While in school, Morris discovered the Pacific Northwest band The Decemberists, which changed his musical interests and style completely. Morris transitioned into a more "artistically raw" style not unlike The Decemberists'.

Morris wrote his album, Songs From a Broken Violin, in the summer of 2005, pulling together a ten-piece orchestra to perform his songs about spirituality, faith and world view. According to Morris, the album's four movements piece together a story about testing and abandoning one's beliefs only to end up with a new, deeper understanding of the original ideologies. - NPR


Ocean EP - 2008
Songs From a Broken Violin - 2005



The decadent decade of the 80's was filled with neon lights and synthetic sounds, but an ironic desolation clung to our bodies like a cloud of old cigarette smoke. Everything was too bold and too bright as if our collective conscious was attempting to mask an indefinable emptiness. Technology was a promise of better tomorrows, but every leap of science was accompanied by an incremental loss of faith. We all wanted a hero, every last one of us, whether we would have admitted it back then or not. It was in the midst of this blurred miasma that two people stepped up to the plate and gave birth to the miracle we were all looking for. That miracle was Dabney Morris.

It's 2008, now, and the hollowness of 1984 almost seems permanent. But then the rosin grips tight to the violin strings and releases. In the dim light, we see the motion of the bow before we hear the sound, and we crowd in close like the fingers of a family prayer. A melody creeps outward and stops. A silence, a stillness, a loss. Hope is unexpected when it so long absent.

A lot of people have tried to define Dabney over the years. Academic, musician, revolutionary, philanthropist, son, friend. But none of these monikers is really true. It would be more accurate to call him destiny's child. And I'm not talking about that two-timing tramp Beyonce Knowles. No. Dabney is much more like Kelly Rowland, the undisputed heart and soul of Destiny's Child. Yes, maybe Kelly Rowland is not as attractive as Beyonce. Neither is Dabney. But true heroes are rarely attractive. Jonas Salk never won a beauty contest. Clay Aiken didn't become an A-list celebrity because of his looks.

But then again, Beyonce Knowles never won second place on American Idol or invented the cure for polio. Nor did she write Dabney's most recent musical release, "Ocean EP." A hero wrote that EP. A hero named Dabney Morris.

What makes a man or a woman into a hero or heroine? Is it muscles or power or weapons? Or is it that little spark that makes that man or a woman stand up and say "I'm a hero or heroine, and I'm going to write an EP about the ocean?" We may never know for sure, but one thing is clear: Dabney has all of the above. This is what makes him so difficult to define. Dabney is still a drummer, but wielding an electric guitar and backed by a string quartet, you might not realize this right away. On stage, he seems more like an inventor watching the cogs and gears of his machine spin faster and faster until the audience is wound into the mechanisms. His songs soar upwards on old wisdom and new wings until he stops everything, pulling back the curtain and allowing us to see the bolts and wires holding everything together. And in that moment, we see Dabney as he really is, just a kid with a guitar who seems slightly uncomfortable on stage. A scholar, an athlete, and a gentleman. One of the last true heroes of our generation.

Dabney currently lives in Nashville, TN. His latest release "Ocean EP" can be purchased from his website or at one of his live performances. You may feel free to compliment his beard.