March 24th, 2010
Light on the Stage: A Cory Morrow Preview
The first time I took friends of mine to see Cory Morrow play, they asked what kind of music he played. For want of a better term, I said country and they immediately let out a groan. Being good friends, (or not having anything else to do) they went along with me anyway, certain that they were going to hate the concert.
After making our way through the crowd and getting as close to the stage as we could, we waited for the concert to start as they continued to bemoan that fact that they were at a country concert. Suddenly, a barefoot man in jeans and a t-shirt bounded onto the stage and started playing his guitar and his band launched into song. Halfway into the tune, my friend turned to me and said “I’d rather listen to this guy than the headliner. He’s good.” I looked at him, incredulously, and said ” That’s Cory Morrow.”
He was flabbergasted and peppered me with a ton of questions: “Where’s the cowboy hat? Why isn’t he wearing boots? Shouldn’t his clothes be bedazzled?” Finally, when I couldn’t answer these profound musings, he just stated “he doesn’t look anything like any country singer I’ve ever seen!” I finally convinced him to shut up and listen. Lo and behold, he left a convert. Now, every time Cory rolls into town, he calls me and reminds me to mark the date on my calendar. I got a call a month ago to make sure I circled Friday the 26th of March on the calendar because that’s when Houston’s own Cory Morrow takes the stage at The Firehouse Saloon.
Morrow, who’s been making music for over fifteen years now, is supporting the release of his newest song “Ramblin’ Man” a cut on his latest EP of the same name, which will be released at the end of the month. The song serves as a chronicle of Morrow’s career as a roaming minstrel and promises that he’ll be a “ramblin’ man until his days are done,” which is good news for any music fan. The EP will pair the classic Morrow tunes “Light on the Stage” and “Wrapped Up In Your Love,” which have both been reworked, with new songs like “Lonesome” and “Feels like Love.” Morrow also hopes that this EP will “wet [his fans] beaks” for his latest full length album, which is scheduled to be released later this year. If “Ramblin’ Man” is any indication, his fans are in for quite a treat.
While his career path hasn’t been easy, Morrow has taken a page out of Sinatra’s book and done it his way. As an independent singer-songwriter, he’s built a large following through his constant touring and independent releases, selling over 200,000 albums; a staggering number for an artist without major label support. It’s hard not to respect an artist who goes about his business in such a blue-collar manner.
Morrow says that he got into music to “avoid responsibility,” but he shows a dedication to his music that is unmatched by most. That’s not to say that it’s always been that way, but both Morrow and his songs have matured and grown over the years.
When talking about the trials and tribulations of his career, Morrow speaks with remarkable candor. One of the most refreshing things is that he grasps how lucky he is to be making music for a living and his appreciation of his fans for supporting him and allowing him that opportunity. Never is this more evident than when he is on stage, as his passion for music permeates every aspect of his performance.
Cory Morrow’s live shows are a study in showmanship. Innately at home in front of a crowd in his bare feet, Morrow bounces around the stage like a three year old hopped up on pixie sticks as he engages the crowd with stories about his songs, odd facial expressions and gyrating dance moves. First and foremost, he wants his live show to be an experience and does he ever deliver.
Not content to just play his music, he urges audience participation and encourages ovations. He has a genuine interest in his fans and that comes through when he stands on the stage with his guitar.
For all his craziness in front of large crowds, he’s just as comfortable in an intimate setting, playing for a small group of people without his band. Just him and his guitar. It’s a unique experience to sit quietly and hear the songs as they were meant to be played and hear stories about where the songs came from. You also gain an appreciation for the fact that the Cory Morrow knows how to treat his guitar. Few singer/songwriters can stand up to Morrow’s picking.
Friday night at the Firehouse won’t be an intimate solo concert, instead, look forward to a rockin’, high energy show. Morrow has a personal desire to “raise the roof” every time he takes the stage at the Firehouse and there’s a good chance he’ll just the blow the entire thing off. It will also be a great chance to see the band in a much more up close and personal setting than on stages of the outdoor festivals that the Cory Morrow Band plays around these parts. With John Carroll back on lead guitar and a band that Cory’s “really, really excited about” Friday night’s show it won’t not be one to miss. Make sure to get your tickets while they are still available.
Cory was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for The Loop Scoop. We’ll have our interview with him on Friday, just in time for the show on Friday night.