Lee Morgan
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Lee Morgan


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"Spotlight On: Lee Morgan"

Lee Morgan isn’t exactly a man on the cutting edge of
modern music. The winner of the Standout Performer award at
May’s Philly Rising open mic at the World Café Live, both his
musical style and his personal history seem to have tumbled
headlong into Philadelphia via a time-warp from 1971. He
wears his classic influences, from Cat Stevens to Crosby, Stills
and Nash, unapologetically on his sleeve. Even his voice is a bit
well-worn, a vintage instrument still somehow sounding great
after countless years of hard use.
“I didn’t even know that it was a competition,” Morgan recalls
of Philly rising with a chuckle. “After I had finished and was
packing up my stuff to leave I ran into Andre [aka Boy Wonder,
the show’s host] who said to me, ‘Hey Lee, where are you going?
I think you won.’ I asked him, ‘won what?’”
Still, while Morgan may be “just starting to integrate myself
into the Philly scene,” the Trenton native is absolutely familiar
with the stage. He’s a highly accomplished stage actor, with
twenty-plus years on and off Broadway and in touring productions
of major musicals. Morgan has literally been playing and
singing professionally for longer than many of his singer-songwriter
contemporaries have been alive.
“I was 19 years old when I was bit by the theater bug,” Morgan
recalls, “It was a performance of Pippin at Centenary College
[in Morgan’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana] that got me
hooked.” That memorable viewing gave Morgan the impetus to
take on a theatrical performance major at Centenary, and kickstarted
a career that includes stints in the original cast of the The
Who’s Tommy and billings alongside numerous Tony-winning
actors and actresses.
In a sense, then, Morgan’s reinvention as singer-songwriter
is a complete turnaround, from the splash and bombast of a
packed musical stage to the solitude of a solo open mic set. It’s
a risky move for an established artist, and Morgan’s quite aware
of that fact.
“Doing this officially was a deliberate choice, definitely,”
Morgan states. “There are times when I wonder, ‘what have I
done? I’m on this crazy singer-songwriter thing! This is nuts!’”
“But knowing I was on this creative path is from when I was
young,” Morgan continues. “I always needed to sing, even when
it wasn’t any good yet.” His compulsion to create music, Morgan
says, has been his means to process his life experience since as
far back as he can remember.
“Whatever life is feeding me, all the hard soul-searching you
do in life; for me [my music] is the best way to find my answers.
It comes out as words with music to them: twists of phrases,
couplets of interesting lines with little melodies attached. That’s
what’s in my head all the time.”
To Morgan, a solo effort is a logical, perhaps even inevitable
progression, and one that has been decades in the making. To
hear him tell it, Morgan simply bleeds music, and always has.
Catch Morgan at his upcoming gig with Boy Wonder at O.N.E.
in Rittenhouse on August 5th, or later this fall at a concert for
the iPod generation: the Philly Song Shuffle on September 5th
at World Café Live. 50 artists play four-minute sets for a constantly-
rotating night of music.
Listen for a guy that sounds like the best classic singer-songwriter
mix-tape you never heard, and that’ll be Lee Morgan.
Who needs ‘new’ when you’ve got ‘good?’ - Origivation Magazine (The Preservation of Original Music) August 2008

"Working Actor: Lee Morgan Defines the Difference between Success and Celebrity"

...To those who see Lee Morgan on
stage, the word “star” comes quickly
to mind. He certainly gives a star performance
in Brooklyn the Musical,
one that stays with you despite the
overall thinness of the material. It’s a
sort of a show business fairy tale, the
story of a group of New York City
street singers who concoct a piece of
musical theatre and perform it at the
foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. But
Morgan’s role really gives him the
chance to use his acting chops. He
plays a character who ages twenty
years or so in the course of the story,
and is transformed from hero to
heroin addict and back. His singing,
both in chorus and solo, is demanding
and showy. His voice has a quality
that’s beautiful, yet smoky and
ragged. It’s a voice you remember because
it sounds natural and spontaneous,
filled with emotion...

Go to BIO and click on Dramatics Magazine Feature for the entire article.
- Dramatics Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Standout Performer for May at the Word Cafe Live's Cream: The Best of Philly Rising, Lee Morgan is a singer-songwriter and actor born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Now living in the New York/Philly area, Lee is a self-taught musician who began writing songs as a young teenager, inspired by the Beatles, Stephen Stills, Cat Stevens, Donny Hathaway, James Taylor, Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and many others.

As an actor, Lee was in the original Broadway cast of The Who’s Tommy. For that show he taught himself blues harmonica and played and sang a version of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Eyesight to the Blind” that critic Janet Maslin, in her New York Times review, called “scorching”. (Hear “Eyesight” and other numbers performed by Lee on the Original Broadway Cast album.)

Lee also originated a lead role in Brooklyn the Musical on Broadway, and has appeared in several shows off-Broadway and in regional theaters around the country. Lee sometimes juggles life as a performing songwriter with the acting career, but hotel rooms make for some of the best songs, so whether he’s doing theater or music on the road, there’s always a place to write.

Lee’s guitar, harmonica, and voice all work together with his unique songwriting and rock and roll roots to create an earthy and solid style some have called Soul Folk.

Click on the tabs above for Lee’s music and lyrics, and photos and videos of Lee performing at the Bitter End in New York City. Also, please visit Lee at www.myspace.com/leemorgansongs