John Morgan
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John Morgan

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"Motionography - Reasserting the Human Touch"

In these days where music is increasingly created using computers and old records are plundered for loops and riffs it is encouraging to see the human touch reasserting itself on an album like this one.

John Morgan's latest album Motionography is unashamedly acoustic. 100% acoustic guitar - and nothing else. Everything you hear on this superb album comes directly from the brain to the fingertips and hence to the fretboard and strings. No enhancements. It does make for a refreshing change, I can tell you.

The album contains thirteen tracks, of which a dozen are self penned, the cover being the carol O Come, O Come Emmanuel. It is a difficult album to categorise, there are a lot of folk music stylings here, along with some blues and jazz licks all mixed into something that is 100% John Morgan and doesn't sound like any other guitarist. And that's a good thing really - who wants another Jimi or Eric? Another factor about this album that I like is that it almost uniformly upbeat, the tracks are almost all uptempo and happy, and of course reflect the album's theme of motion - both physically, emotionally and musically.

It's a bugger of a task trying to find tracks to highlight so I won't. There is nothing here that is less than outstanding and deserving of an immediate replay. If you
like acoustic music then I can't see any reason why you don't add this to your collection - Motionography is never going to be very far from your CD deck. Highly recommended!
- The Borderland -

"Capture the Night - rediscovering musical gems"

Now, I have to admit that I have never enjoyed Christmas carols and festive songs - call me Scrooge if you will, but the usual sanctimonious and ponderous versions that are the standard performances of these songs leave me nauseous and unmoved. However, someone has looked at these songs again and found an original way of presenting them in a simple and unadorned fashion, sloughing off the overdone sanctity and rediscovering the musical gems within.

Yes, the latest album by guitar wizard John Morgan is a collection of seasonal yuletide carols and other songs all performed as instrumentals. But thanks to Johns' nimble fingers and musical good taste, all the old hackneyed tunes have been revitalized to the point where they have been remodeled for the next millennia. So, with eleven tracks on the CD you can now enjoy anew We Three Kings, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Jingle Bells/Good King Wencelas, Joy To The World, Deck The Halls, Silent Night, O Come O Come Emmanuelle, Tinsel, What Child Is This? and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

If you've not discovered John Morgan's previous albums then you are missing out on a rather unique mix of folk style finger picking mixed with a little blues and country colouring. Think John Renbourn and Bert Jansch but with a little more swing and lilt to the playing. On the technical side of things, this is a beautifully recorded album, the guitar is crystal clear and sounds as if it is in the room with you - and having just bought a new hi-fi this album was a good test of the speakers clarity. Highly Recommended!
If you live in the UK [as I do] then trying to get a copy of any of the above albums will require some effort on your part and you'll have to visit to order them - or email John at for pricing information. Whatever, make the effort as these albums are well worth the wait by the letter box... (John Peters, The Borderland, )
- The Borderland

"The Journey - loaded with melodic hooks"

"If you like acoustic fingerstyle guitar, here's another great album for you. John Morgan's new set of original compositions is loaded with melodic hooks that invite easy listening. His instrumentals are all brief in length, running between two and four minutes, and they are all the sort of tunes that have a pop sensibility that invites the listener to hum along to refrains that seem already familiar.

There are no synthesizer fills, nature sounds or dazzling two-handed picking techniques. Just the sound of one man with his guitar crafting pleasant melodies that can fit into the work environment without distracting or make great background music for time spent relaxing in friendly conversation. If you spend time just listening, you can appreciate the simple things he celebrates in music, such as "Diamonds in the Snow" or "House by the River" or "The Squirrel with Red Eyes." - New Age Voice (April '98) - New Age Voice

"The Journey - a feel for tension and redemption"

“There's a reason most "unknown" guitarists are unknown. Either they are simply not blessed with the gift, or their heroic day-to-day routine of slogging through mundane commercial enterprise to support their families restrains them from an unbridled pursuit of artistic excellence.

Though John Morgan is as far as can be from a household name, his gift must be uncommonly generous, or he paradoxically draws on a creative force engendered by his life and family that is magically transmuted into great music unbefitting that of an unknown. This Ohioan's melodic solo fingerstyle composition is similar to that of Phil Keaggy, another excellent player and writer whose musical roots were nourished in a similar place and time. The tracks from "The Journey-Places Real and Imagined" could be easily intermixed with Keaggy's Dove-award winning "Beyond Nature" without causing a stir or departing thematically. The liner notes refreshingly indicate that "all songs were performed in standard tuning", almost a rarity in solo fingerstyle performance these days, and even more surprising considering the booming harmonics nursed bell-like from Morgan's Taylor 710.

"Streams of Mercy, Showers of Blessing" begins as a disquieting collage of suspenseful arpeggios, resolving pleasingly into a requited and reassuring familiarity.

"Diamonds in the Snow" similarly pits two disparate sensations against each other, a harsh diminished riff spinning around a luminously comfortable theme sounding like the opening guitar line to "Scarborough Fair". Perhaps metaphorically recapitulating something deeper, Morgan has a feel for tension and redemption in his music.” Alan Fark September/October 2001

"Stories - wonderful compositions"

When you for the first time listen to this finger-style guitarist one feels a lot of joy and optimism in John's guitar playing. John Morgan which hails from Ohio, USA, impresses with wonderful compositions which are all composed in normal standard tuning. His inspiration seems to come from above and on
some of John's tunes he is assisted by a fretless bass and percussion and on What Words Won't Say and on Towards Montana by additional flute and backing vocals in South American atmospheres. Some references to another fine finger-style player, Phil Keaggy can be heard.

Although several instruments are part of the ambiance, John's Taylor 710 guitar is always in control of the whole situation with its perfect sound. On the entire CD you encounter balance, rhythm, melody, and rich harmonies within his songs like the opening track Stories, The Unexpected Stranger with a melancholic touch and The Well of Healing which is very uplifting. Tickets to the Circus is brilliant by the fine percussion used and one would expect this was not written in standard tuning as it has a typical open tuning sound. John Morgan plays with ease all styles switching from folk, to jazz and world music and from ballads to fast picking pattern tunes in a performance with top-notch skills on a fascinating musical journey. - Henk te Veldhuis, Bridge Guitar Reviews. - Bridge Guitar Reviews

"Stories - a distinctive flair"

"Stories" caught my attention quickly with the very first cut, and was a consistent delight throughout the entire recording. John Morgan has a distinctive flair that always surprises. John's fingerstyle acoustic guitar is enhanced by bass, percussion and flute in various combinations, and there is a smooth, stylish energy among all the instruments. The warm of the very musical "Stories" will keep you captivated and entertained. Randall Leonard, Holistic Journal (Nov/Dec '99) - Holistic Journey

"Stories - contemplative but rhythmic"

"John Morgan is good at what he does...very good. "Stories," the follow up to his highly touted first release, "The Journey," is a wonderful example of how purely instrumental music can convey emotion and images without ever saying a word.

Using a distinctive fingerstyle technique, Morgan transforms the sounds of his acoustic guitar (mixed with bass and flute) into wonderful tales filled with tangible sentiment. Like the upbeat anticipation of "Awakenings," the excited curiosity of "Tickets to the Circus" or the quiet reverence of "Winterprayer." It's not hard to imagine this album finding a permanent place next our quieter moments. It is contemplative but rhythmic, forthright but humble. Most of all, though, it is enjoyable. The musical tales found in Morgan's "Stories" are worth listening to over and over again." Frederick Schmitt, -

"Stories - a world teeming with optimism"

"14 delightfully uplifting 'fables in wood, wind and steel' with the main voice being the flawless acoustic guitar stylings of John Morgan are offered in this wonderful release. Sounding like a gentle version of Michael Hedges, John's delicate fingerstyle guitar melodies are quite captivating, taking the listener into a world that is teeming with optimism, joy and friendly Stories.

A great daybreaker, these soundscapes will also help create positive atmospheres at work, on the road or anytime that a lift in spirits is called for. Highly recommended to all lovers of acoustic guitar music." Rev. Robert Walmsley, Musical Soundscapes - Musical Soundscapes

"Stories - incredibly articulate"

"Where one is from isn't as important as where one is headed, and good friends make the journey that much sweeter. This simple sentiment forms the basis for an exceptionally beautiful selection of instrumental acoustic music that helps one enjoy the adventure of everyday living.

Morgan is an incredibly articulate guitarist blessed with the gift of being able to convey in four minutes of music what it would take several books to relay. His musical "stories" describe beloved imaginary characters who dance in "Luminescent Shoes" and embrace "The Unexpected Stranger" as they share the marvels of their travels. One is quickly immersed in this good company as the brightly hued music flows smoothly like a water-color, pausing now and then for a fun and funky time-out "By the Well of Joy" or a romantic rendezvous to express "What Words Can't Say." There's many a good instrumental tale here, much to bring a secret smile, a private dance step; this is feel-good music of the finest grade for anyone open to inspiration." The Monthly Aspectarian (June '99) - The Monthly Aspectarian


Full Length song samples on the "Listen" page of

"Motionography" (2006) - jazz and blues inflected fingerstyle guitar with a touch of the ethereal.

"Capture the Night" (2004) solo guitar arrangments of Christmas classics.

"Stories" (1999) 14 original, acoustic guitar based, pieces with additional instrumentation: bass, percussion, flute and voice

"The Journey - Places Real and Imagined" (1996)compact disc 12 original, instrumental, solo guitar pieces.


Feeling a bit camera shy


John Morgan is an acoustic guitarist living in central Ohio. Unencumbered by fame or fortune, he is pursuing the musical dream: performing, teaching, writing and recording.

"Motionography" (2006), is about movement: flight, swimming, dancing - places: the moon, oceans, stars; and communication: the non-verbal, solo guitar type of communication. The sound of one guitar playing, fingers dancing, sounds splashing, sonic canvas, air art, here–gone, wooden heart made flesh, steel strings spring to life. The sound of one guitar laughing, of joy bouncing, strengthening, calling, inviting to the dance. The sound of one guitar moving, across the star field accompanied by dancers, singers, swimmers, writing rhythm, resonating life.

"Capture the Night" was released in November of 2004. Fresh arrangements of holiday classics. Over a thousand CDs were sold in the two months before Christmas.

“Stories” was released in 1999. Cuts from this disc have received radio play on over 100 stations across the U.S.

In 1994 he began performing original acoustic music. In 1996 “The Journey: Places Real and Imagined” was released. “Echoes,” a nationally syndicated radio program hosted by John Diliberto, played cuts from that CD during 1996 and 1997. The title cut from “The Journey" was included on Volume 3 of a sampler disc released by Acoustic Music Resource. “House by the River,” also from “The Journey,” was included on a sampler disc compiled and internationally distributed by Poetman USA. Four songs from this CD were in continuous rotation on the "Atmospheres" Digital Cable Network for several years.

John published "Foundation for Great Guitar Playing" in 2003. This book/CD set clearly explains and applies the basics of music theory to the fretboard. John regularly presents this material in classrooms, workshops and private lessons.