Frank Morey
Gig Seeker Pro

Frank Morey


Band Americana Folk


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



"Frank Morey"

When Howlin' Wolf was scaring the white folk at the Newport Jazz Festival, Don Van Vliet was scaring his neighbors with teenage pal Frank Zappa. When Van Vliet began dismembering Wolf's blues as Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits was slinking about LA as a boho jazz-bo, and when Waits was reinventing himself as a post-postmodern Beefheart, Frank Morey was bundled up for kindergarten in Lowell, Massachusetts, just up the interstate from Newport. Morey knows his debts to this shape-shifting matrix; he knows repayment takes reinvention. With an arsenal of cigarettes and harmonicas, an over-amped and overworked acoustic guitar — slid and banged and sometimes affably strummed — and a rhythm section driven by a proletarian parade kick drum and a honking stand-up bass, Morey has found his own way of growling through the archetypal juke-joint howl. - St. Louis Riverfront Times

"Frank Morey Preview"

Singer-songwriter Frank Morey isn’t from Chicago, but he certainly has ties to the city.

Namely, very good standing with Bob Koester, owner/founder of the legendary Delmark Records. As the story goes, Koester was an audience member at a Morey show in Flagstaff, Arizona and was so impressed by Morey’s performance it led to the Massachusetts native releasing his third record, aptly titled The Delmark Sessions, in 2002 via the Chicago label.

That in mind, the first thing you’ll likely notice about Morey’s music is that it is neither obvious jazz or blues, the two genres most commonly associated with Koester and his label. Elements of both undoubtedly trickle through his songs, but so do honky tonk, folk, and rock. Morey cites Son House, Hank Williams, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, and Tom Waits as his primary influences, and all of them can be heard in one way or another on his latest release, Made In USA, which explains how Morey can play the Chicago Blues Festival *and* the Boston Folk Festival, or how he can tour with legendary bluesman Honeyboy Edwards yet still attract the mellow-and-mild Uncommon Ground crowd. That Made In USA and its 11 whiskey-bent tunes about life, love, damnation, and redemption has no label backing is mind-boggling, especially after he released his last record on a label as iconic as Delmark. We don’t know what happened with Delmark, but Morey’s gravel-gargle howl and gritty roots deserve more exposure than what he can do on his own; someone give this man a record deal ASAP. - Illinois Entertainer

"On MADE IN USA, by Brendan Hogan"

Made of furrowed feelings and forget-me-not passion; made from the echoes of the past and the pall of the present; made with pawn shop guitars and iron-wrought lungs, Frank Morey's story is a monument to musical integrity. It is MADE IN USA. - WGBH, 89.7, Boston

"On MADE IN USA, by Ted Drozdowski"

Like John Fogerty and a handful of other inventive and rooted American artists, Frank Morey has created his own vision of our nation with MADE IN USA — an adventurous tour of the back alleys and flea-bitten byways of life that reaches back to the farthest corners of the Delta and the mountains for its sonic inspiration, but always rocks like hell. - The Boston Phoenix

"On the Verge: 5 Artists to Watch"

Much more than your run-of-the-mill coffee house musician, Frank Morey’s Tom Waits esque bizarre brand of storytelling has won him fans all over the Northeast. With a gift for the ironic and a weathered voice to match, Morey mirrors his influences while adding his own unique twists. “Old blues are a big inspiration to me. Artists like Charlie Patton and Howlin’ Wolf and Lowell itself—walking around late at night amongst the old mill buildings.� Morey’s latest release is Made in U.S.A., his fourth album to date, and it leans more toward blues rock thanhis previous anti-hero folk recordings. “I’ve been called jazz and country in Europe, blues in Italy and a singer/songwriter here. I used to get compared to Tom Waits a lot,� Morey says. “It’s a wonderful comparison, better than being comparedto Milli Vanilli.� - Relix Magazine

"Feature Story"

By Bill Copeland
March 2007

How does a musician from Lowell get to play at major events like the Chicago Blues Festival and Boston Folk Festival as well as record a CD for legendary Delmark records?

Frank Morey has taken an old blues sound from the beginning of the last century and turned it into something that resonates with today’s fans of blues and folk. This 33-year-old guitarist-singer-songwriter found his own niche by investigating the originators from yesteryear. Despite the fact he has recorded his CDs in the last 10 years, Morey is every nuance an oldies styles blues man.

Drawn toward American roots music by old radio stars like Ray Charles and Chuck Berry, Morey went on to discover more about the singers who influenced his influences.

"Anything that derives from that kind of music I attached myself to," he said. "I’ve always been in love with Ray Charles’ music. He did so many songs by so many different people that discovering their names and listening to their music later on - it has a domino effect."

Morey is also influenced by his own sidemen. Drummer Scott Pittman plays a vintage pre-war traps kit.

"In Lowell, I’d go over Scott’s house. He used to have an old mono two-track. I did some recording with him. He and a friend of his started a small record company that did one record of a bunch of Lowell songwriters. He used to have this kit that he was building. And I said, ‘You should play that with me sometime.’ He’d been busy in some punk rock bands and a couple of different bands in the Lowell area and Boston area. Once those bands folded, he showed up at a show with his finished kit, and it worked out nicely."

Pittman‘s traps have many unique features. "It’s got some many different nicks to it," Morey said. "And Scott, as a drummer and percussionist, has the ability to sound like more than one guy doing something. He holds a standard beat. He has a bunch of things to hit that honk and indulge."

Morey’s bassist, Andrew Bergman, plays an upright, giving his recordings and performances an extra old Americana wallop.

"I’ve always liked the full sound of the acoustic bass," Morey said. "The double bass seems on record to fill up any hole because it’s such a huge instrument."

Morey draws his audiences from all age groups. Being in his early thirties makes him able to relate to younger and older fans alike.

"It’s probably due to my age, and as my influences go back to the fifties and earlier, I think people hear that approach to the songwriting. I think everything swings around over time. An old sound sounds new to the younger audience when they’re listening to a lot computerized and polished musicians and recording styles. Then when they hear me, it’s kind of natural. The whole idea of an approach to playing it the way it’s written, and recording it the way it’s played. It’s kind of fresh to a lot of the kids nowadays."

Younger people have been exposed to modern punk, which can sound rooted in older American rock-and-roll and rockabilly. Morey‘s old-timey sound would fit right in with that niche. His lyrics of betrayal and cynicism toward authority figures might also close the deal with youth.

"A lot of the punk rock bands have evolved over the years," Morey explained. "It seems that a lot of the modern punk takes more from the rockabilly scene and the fifties rock than it did from The Ramones. A lot of the Boston bands have a really decent rockabilly scene. I think a lot of the kids listening and playing that stuff, we share a lot of the same influences."

Morey’s earliest recordings focused on just his vocal and acoustic guitar. His folkie lyrics and basic arrangements make him attractive to listening rooms and coffee shops. He still likes to hit those quiet listening rooms with their serious, attentive audiences, as well as the more lively nightclubs on his schedule.

"I started off, before I put a solid band together, with a lot of solo shows," the songwriter said. "I think my approach to songwriting has always been guitar as a tool and putting the words together. A lot of the songs are story-based and it just all fit together. A lot of the radio play that I received were stations like WERS’s Coffeehouse, and WUMB in Boston has a folk program. I latched onto it and enjoyed the sound. There are small nuances throughout my records. They always have a few songs that are bare bones, acoustic guitar and vocal."

Morey’s latest disc, Made In USA, has hit number one on XM Bluesville’s "Rack Of Blues" program’s Top 15 per listeners’ request, and it reached into CD Baby’s Top Seller List.

Made In USA lives in a world between blues and folk. He said he was trying to capture with the new release something that came from early solo acoustic blues.

"I think I was trying to get more of a Howlin’ Wolf Band sound with a trio. (Wolf) draws himself from Son House and Charlie Patton," Morey said. "That stuf - Boston Blues


The Delmark Session, 2002
Cold in Hand, 2002
Father John's Medicine, 2000



Frank Morey’s influences are a timeline of true American originals- Son House, Hank Williams, Howlin’ Wolf, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, and Tom Waits.

From Lowell, Massachusetts, Frank Morey and his band completed their fourth record, MADE IN USA, in December 2006.

On Feb 13th, MADE IN USA hit CDBaby's "Top Sellers" list as one of the site's 20 most popular CDs. As well, it hit #1 on XM Bluesville's "Rack of Blues" program on January 24th ("Rack of Blues" is a weekly show that counts down the 15 new blues albums and is based on listeners' requests).

Other Notable Facts:
- Bob Koester, owner of the legendary Delmark Records in Chicago, was in the audience during a performance at The Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, AZ. Later, when commenting about Morey, Koester said, “Some music is too good not to be recorded.” This chance encounter led to the release of 2002’s The Delmark Sessions.

- When not touring, Frank and his band perform weekly at The Plough and Stars in Cambridge, MA. The Plough is famous for its select residencies, including Morphine, G. Love and Special Sauce, and "Spider" John Koerner. Morey also holds a monthly residency at Terra Blues in Greenwich Village, NYC.

- In 2003 and 2004, Morey toured with and befriended 91-year-old blues legend Honeyboy Edwards. Morey has also performed at The Chicago Blues Festival and the Boston Folk Festival.

- Morey was awarded “Best Song” in The Chicago Reader for “Uncle Lefty’s Lament” (2003).