Ron Morris
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Ron Morris


Band Folk Acoustic


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"Speak True: A Review"

Ron Morris' music has been described as "a folk/pop mix of carefully crafted tunes defined by his characteristically unique voice and catchy hooks". In the time that Ron has been performing live throughout the New York City music scene, he has enjoyed a good deal of popularity not just for the music itself, but also because of his charismatic presence and his engaging interaction with his audiences. His debut CD is called "Speak True", a verse taken from the opening track-- and the CD's title lives up to the simple message that Ron appears to be trying to convey throughout the album: Don't do (or say, or sing about...) what you THINK. Do (or say, or sing about...) what you FEEL. Indeed, his lyrics are simple, earnest, and from the heart. He's got the voice to match. It's simultaneously vulnerable yet strong, yearning yet reassuring.

Originally from Florida and now based in New York, he claims no Southern heritage, but his persona and musical style are very clearly rooted in country music. First, there's the purity of his sound. It's music without gimmickry or
synthetic tricks. To demonstrate this, two of the selections on "Speak True"-- "Now Appearing" and "Stirring Angels"-- are stripped-down, guitar-and-vocals only tracks which bring hismessage home to the listener very effectively. In addition, there's the music itself, all of which Ron Morris has written.

While his lyrics and delivery are honest, sincere, and often displaying some naked emotions, there's an underlying feeling of strength and just a tad of emotional reserve (intentionally or not) that puts Ron and his music very much in the spirit of the men of C & W. The first track,"Have to Do", ostensibly explores the conflict faced by so many aspiring and independent musicians:

"They don't quite get you--
When you step up, and they talk on, giving a wave of the
They don't quite play right--
When it's high stakes, big bucks, all supply and demand...".

The song, ripe with quietly stimulating guitar rifts and background vocals, explores that struggle through the question echoed in the song's chorus: "What do I have to do?":

"What do I have to do?
For the good life, For the big time
What do I have to give?
To keep up, To play nice
Speak True...
What do I have to do?"

Being a performer-- specifically, the schism between the man on stage vs. the man behind the music-- is also explored in the stunning, painfully candid "Now Appearing" later on in the CD. In "The Atmosphere Here", the starkness of the song (Perhaps to replicate "the atmosphere" spoken of in the song title...), and the quiet romanticism and honesty in Ron's voice, elevates what is essentially a simple story about two people whose eyes meet at a bar. The same effect is created in "Come Home Tonight". In a few moments throughout the CD, Ron occasionally experiments with some different sounds: "Dark Parts", the third track, indeed takes a more (true to its name) dark approach-- it's more moody, ethereal, and almost psychadelic. "This Morning" is a much-welcomed, more upbeat track with some exotic-sounding rhythms. The song very effectively conveys that excitement and joy of the first time being with a new lover. "Bring on the Blue" brings in the cello, courtesy of Linda Lymke, for a great effect. The war-minded state of the world is explored in "OK":

"...I read the New York Times today, and just went back to bed.
Yes, the world's in disarray,
I wonder does it matter what I say?
When CNN has labeled all of this OK.

He goes on to sing:
"And it's painful,
And it's shameful,
As the world falls down, and I move about my day,
Like everything will be OK..."

Critics may kvetch about "Speak True"'s unapologetic, unyielding sentimentality, or the CD's noticable lack of cynicism. Clearly, Ron's music is more about the irreplicable feeling of a high school crush (even for those of us not in high school anymore!) rather than the more challenging aspects of love. Even his songs that comment about issues like the music scene ("Have to Do") and the state of the world ("OK") seem to display more of a boyish naivete rather than the rebel image that we see so often in the indy music scene today. "Speak True" reminds us that sometimes we need to get "back to basics" when we express ourselves through music... but I have no doubt that in the next few years, we'll be seeing many new dimensions to Ron Morris and his music. What's bound to emerge is a bear with real bite! - Jed Ryan - PM Magazine

"Boyfriend and other sides of love"


After creating a highly enduring debut album of original material back in 2005 named "Speak True", singer/songwriter Ron Morris has earned the right to experiment a bit. "Boyfriend and Other Sides of Love", Morris' new EP, is somewhat of an experiment in a couple of ways. Self-classified as a pop/rock/folk artist, Morris tests the water in other genres on this CD, via four dance remixes of the disc's emblematic song "Boyfriend". In addition, but he also boldly re-works two songs which have been made famous by other artists. What thankfully remains the same throughout Morris' work is his most distinctive (and arguably, his best) characteristic: his voice. His voice is thoughtful, sensitive, and far more rich in emotion than you may expect from such an imposing guy with such a strong presence... and with a few exceptions (He does some tricks with the vocoder later on in the EP), that voice is always in the forefront of his music. Sound-wise, his antecedents include Jim Croce and James Taylor.

"Boyfriend", the first track, offers a new, unambiguously gay twist on the 1963 classic "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels, even throwing in a "Hey la, hey la!" as something of an homage to the heavy-on-the-fluff, "girls group" original. "Masterpiece of Why" continues with Ron's unique shade of soul: "I can't stop staring at your window, every time that I go by; I can't stop staring at your window, praying for a glimpse inside... I can't stop staring at your window, reflections of my selfish side; I can't stop staring at your window, getting lost in this 'masterpiece of why'..." Next up is Morris' take on the traditional American song "Frankie and Johnny". Redone and reinterpreted many, many times in its history, the song was indisputably made most famous by Mae West, the lady largely credited with bringing s-e-x to the movie screen. West sang the song in her 1933 film, "She Done Him Wrong", and performed it as one of her signature songs throughout her long career. The gender-bending revision in Ron's version is that the formerly female "Frankie" of the song's title is now-- presto homo!-- a man, making the song another story about man-to-man affections, albeit at the opposite end of the spectrum of the puppy love feelings expressed in "Boyfriend". Aside from the pronoun changes and a few updated lyrics (Interestingly, Morris turns the unsympathetic character "Nelly Bly" into a male too.), the song is nicely faithful to the original. Morris' version is guitar-driven country rock, just intense enough to almost rival Ron's voice for attention, and it features some zesty background vocals. Mae West, a gay icon and one of America's first advocates for gay equality, would cheer... and just in case you don't know the story of "Frankie & Johnny", let's just say that the climax is in the vein of Cher's "Dark Lady". Speaking of Cher, Morris also reworks the ageless diva's "We All Sleep Alone", opting for a stark, stripped-down performance. With only his voice and guitar, the result is a stark, hard-hitting interpretation which is more faithful to the song's lyrics and original message than the more popularized versions we've heard. And, again, it's a great showcase of Ron's voice.

"Boyfriends and Other Sides of Love" concludes with three distinct remixes of "Boyfriend". The Freeman's Classic But a Keeper Mix is pure electronica, featuring elastic rhythms, '80's-style pop hooks, and Ron's voice getting treatment with the vocoder. The other two remixes experiment with Ron's vocals (both unadorned and electronically manipulated) set to a house/techno/club beat. Despite the brevity of Morris' sophomore creation, the artist does indeed pack a wide range of emotions into the eight-track "Boyfriend and Other Sides of Love", from devotion ("Boyfriend"), to self-chastising doubt ("Masterpiece of Why") and loneliness ("We All Sleep Alone"), to the downright crazy side of l-o-v-e ("Frankie & Johnny"). To take some poetic license of my own with Ron Morris' lyrics, this CD is a classic AND a keeper!

Jed Ryan, PM Entertainment Magazine
Winner, Reviewer of the Year, Stonewall Society 2005 Pride in the Arts Awards
- PM Magazine

"Mapping Out Success"

Mapping Out Success
Ron Morris tours through Ibiza

By: Ian M. Allen

Like all musicians, Ron Morris was given a map at birth that would lead him down the twisted, often perilous path to becoming a musical artist. The map is fairly straightforward, with only one exception being a potentially hazardous fork in the road. On one side of the fork, there is a bicycle you can rent for 20 dollars a day; on the other side, there are two mountains, five grizzly bears and sixty ill-tempered squirrels. Unfortunately, Ron chose the latter of these two paths. Naturally, it would take him a little longer to reach his destination, but he finally did in early 2005, releasing his debut album, Speak True.

As a performance arts major from Florida State, Ron spent most of his life hoping to become an actor. Following graduation, he worked on the road for three years as a traveling arts educator. It wasn’t until 1996, upon receiving a guitar as a gift from his parents, that Ron decided to pursue a career in music. He then armed himself with his new guitar and a book of 1000 chords, proceeding not only to learn how to play music, but create it on his own.

After several home-recorded demos, Ron has released his first official album. While his overall sound is not complex, his acoustic guitar and light percussion gives his music a soft and soothing tone (though catchy electric guitar riffs do tend to wind in and out, occasionally accompanied by a cello or violin).

When writing, his topics of choice include relationships, depression and even political issues, like war.

On track four, “Ok,” Ron writes, “these fights are fostered by a game/where two men don’t realize that they’re the same.” Though the lyrics are not mind-stretching, they are honest and filled with emotion. Furthermore, Ron’s deeper vocals are beautifully harmonized with the voice of folktronica songstress Jess Pillmore—long-time friend and producer of his cd.

To get a vague idea of what Ron’s music sounds like, think Ben Folds Five with an acoustic guitar and a country/folkish undercurrent. Such a sound has worked brilliantly for him thus far.
Since its release, Speak True has garnered numerous accolades from critics and has been played on radio stations throughout the country, resulting in the development of a strong fan base that will grow rapidly now that he is touring the country with Pillmore. The tour will visit over thirty different cities on the east coast and continue until the end of September, making a stop at Ibiza in downtown Wilmington on Thursday, August 18th at 10pm. Show up and encounter an amazing performance. - Encore - Wilmington, NC

""True" Talent"

"Ron has the rare abilty to take the seemingly ordinary -finding love, losing love, questioning life- and make it something extraordinary. His lyrics and melodies intertwine seamlessly, creating a sort of "songwriting landscape" that is both beautiful and rocky (literally and figuratively). Vocally, Ron has a great resonance but still maintains an intimacy that makes you want to move in a bit closer to get to know his talent better. There's an honesty to Ron's material that's refreshing to hear...truthfulness that you can sing along to! And on a personal level, Ron Morris is one of the finest human beings you'd ever want to meet- his energy is infectious, his warmth beams through, and when he's performing, you can't help but get caught up in his dynamic charm. Ron's a "True" talent!"

-Ken Kleiber - 'That's Kenertainment'


Speak True - Roadworm Music 2005
Boyfriend and other sides of love (EP) - Roadworm Music 2007
Truth Stained Lies - Roadworm Music scheduled June 24, 2008



Known for his intimate storytelling and infectious melodies, Ron Morris creates music that speaks to the heart. Spinning his unique brand of folk/pop, Ron's characteristically unique voice and catchy hooks take his audience on a journey that lifts the spirit and touches the soul.

"His lyrics and melodies intertwine seamlessly, creating a "songwriting landscape" that is both beautiful and rocky (literally and figuratively)." - Ken Kleiber, That's Kentertainment (

Born in Jacksonville, FL and raised in a household where country music reigned, Ron learned early on his first lesson in songwriting: "keep it simple and with the story first." In 1995, with the gift of an old guitar from his parents and book of a 1,000 chords, he hit the road and began teaching himself how to play. His adventures took him across the U.S. gathering stories and growing up. In 1997 he moved to NYC and began turning his stories into songs and singing them wherever he could find space: bars, clubs, coffee shops, theaters, subway stations, and living rooms. After selling home demos of his songs for a number of years and building a strong local following, Ron released his first studio CD in 2005, Speak True, on the Roadworm Music label. "Speak True" garnered critical attention and was featured on National Public Radio's (NPR) "This Way Out", Sirius Satellite Radio, and numerous local and regional radio programs.

Ron returned to the studio in 2007 to record two new projects. "Boyfriend and other sides of love", the first release, is an 8 song EP that includes four new tunes that take a look at a few of love's many faces, as well as four remixes of the first single, "Boyfriend", a folked-up sixties-feel flashback to new love. The "Boyfriend" video was recently features on MTV's LOGO Network's "New/Now/Next". The second project, "Truth Stained Lies", a new full length album, will be released on June 24th, 2008 and will feature eleven new songs. These projects bring him out of hibernation in the Roadworm Studio and onto the touring circuit.

Ron is an artist who is true to himself, his music, and his audience. As soft as he is strong, wise as he is naive, Ron Morris offers a fresh point of view and signature sound that is uplifting, honest, and leaves the listener feeling as if they've just been let in on a really good secret.