Morgan O'Kane
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Morgan O'Kane

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Alternative Bluegrass

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Jul
25
Morgan O'Kane @ Hillside Music Festival

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Jul
24
Morgan O'Kane @ Hillside Music Festival

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Jul
22
Morgan O'Kane @ Hillside Music Festival

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

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

Music

Press


“We are talking sheer joy here. Blow the roof off intensity. Gonzo spirit meets articulately flying fingers…OH!” Feb. 2010/Jessie Scott - Musicfog.com


“Brooklyn-based O’Kane’s music does not need kick-starting. This is mountain music that makes your feet want to move. Great banjo playing with a side of raw and rough vocals, often set just a little behind the music, giving the arrangements their gutsy, authentic feel. His songs are a curious mix of Appalachian Folk, Bluegrass, and Zydeco. This upbeat debut album is highly recommended if you like organic mountain music. It’s hard not to be a fan of this kind of music when it’s done with such skill by talented performers like Morgan O’Kane.” - call it folk


”A hugely enjoyable album with a definite feel good factor” May 2010 - the music critic


” a true banjo virtuoso…exudes vitality…an unbridled sense of freedom seeps through every track” - Rootstime.be


“If Uncle Dave Macon married Bruce Springsteen their love child would be Morgan O’Kane” May 2010 / Michael Jonathan, - woodsongs old time radio hour


When I stepped off the train at the Bedford Ave. stop in Brooklyn, the whole tunnel was brimming with banjo music. It wasn’t the kind that made my heart race though. It was more like the settling of the blood one feels when they hear a genuine, honest voice from the past, like an old friend. The man pumping the space full of sound was perched on top of an old, red Samsonite suitcase that he was whipping with a kick drum pedal. His banjo was an old, vega-style open-back that sounded like the ones from the aging pictures of Appalachia. His performance was raw and fleet, coming from an organic, “I-dug-through-some-shit-to-get-here” place. I was instantly a believer in the music of Morgan O’Kane. As it turns out, Morgan hails from the mountains of Virginia. However, sometime around the age of 15, he hopped a coal train out of the mountains to explore the country — and himself. Over a decade of travel that way has worn itself into the sole of Morgan’s music. Much like a train, his music is about momentum. Rarely does a song just begin. It generally builds from a slower tempo with less activity. But, once he gets up to speed, the groove is mesmerizing and deep, featuring his homemade brand of banjo virtuosity that leaves other players scratching their heads. Morgan’s voice is whole-grain, husk and all. He’s lived hard, he sings hard, and his sound invokes the unique voices of Alan Lomax’s southern field recordings and later Tom Waits. His new self-released record, Nine Lives, is a remarkable collection of songs captured in the honest, live performance tradition of some of the great folk records. The title track reflects on the many variations of life Morgan has experienced and features the vocalist Domino Kirke, who has a record on the way produced by Mark Ronson called Chairman of the Bored. The track, Snug Life, barrels through a hammer-like series of questions, grounding the listener to Morgan’s perspective that the things we need in life are very few. There’s a lot of lyrical imagery involving birds on the record. A particularly poignant example is the track Black Bird, which floats on a beautifully disjunct, modal melody that could only have been written on a banjo. The final track, Sail Away, has an anthemic quality that will leave you singing for the rest of the day. While Morgan O’Kane’s style has been refined on the streets and in the subways of New York City, his honesty and spirit translate very well to record on Nine Lives. Ben Sollee / Buzzgrinder.com - buzzgrinder.com


t's a blur, with kaleidoscopic images, fleeting moments, snippets of dialog. And then there is a tornado that blows through. Morgan O'kane. The bus was literally rocking in place, we were all dancing so hard.

Some people ask about the process, how we pick the bands to come aboard in front of the Music Fog cameras. There is no recipe, other than some old, some new. Some girls, some boys. Some solos, some groups. Sometimes it is a recommendation, a feeling, nothing more. Shawna Cooper gave us the head's up about Morgan O'kane. You know about this guy? He was homeless, rode the rails as a hobo, and played in the NYC Subways. His old band was a "scum billy" outfit called Casa De Chihuahua. We're talking sheer joy here. Blow the roof off intensity. Gonzo spirit meets articulately flying fingers. Oh!

-Jessie - Music Fog


Discography

NINE LIVES release date MAY 4, 2010

Photos

Bio

Morgan O'Kane is an exuberant and intensely talented musician from Charlottesville, VA. His distinct sound is an evolution of his work with "scum-billy" band Casa de Chihuahua and time spent playing underground in the NYC subway system.

In 2010 Morgan is emerging aboveground equipped with a suitcase, kick pedal, banjo, a sense of urgency and a debut full length recording, "Nine Lives".

From the mountaintop removal protests of W. Virginia - to the clubs of Williamsburg/Brooklyn - to the pubs of Belfast, through Holland and back again; these days O'Kane's soulful war cry can be heard for miles.

A capable one man band, Morgan is often accompanied around the globe by a cast of inspirational musicians including: FERD MOYSE IV (The Hackensaw Boys) on fiddle, EZEKIEL HEALY (The Boggs) on dobro, Banjo "ninja" PHIL ROEBUCK, singer/songwriter DOMINO KIRKE, ZACK ORION and cellists LAYLA MCAALL and BEN SOLLEE.