MP3 Danny Morris Band - The Golden Prize
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14 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Guitar Blues, ROCK: Surf Rock
Danny Morris Biography
What critics are saying: âProdigious guitar talent"â¦"Musically diverse"â¦âAlbert Collins melts strings with a surfinâ Dick Dale"â¦âDick Dale meets Stevie Ray.ââ¦âOtis Rush meets the Ventures"â¦"Magic Slim on a Surfinâ Safariââ¦"Whammy Surf GOD!"
Danny Morris took the blues to the beach. But while strolling the shoreline, the former Nighthawk guitarist picked up a few more genres. Morris incorporates some ska, jazz, flamenco, samba, and '50s rock into his surf-rock sound.
Morris developed his R&B chops in Greensboro in the '80s with harpist David "Driveway" Moore's band The Messengers. The band, which featured the "2 CC rhythm section" of Chris Carrol on bass and Chuck Cotton on drums, along with Morris on guitar, played every Tuesday night, and the band developed a huge local following with their mix of classic R&B covers. Morris's next venture was The Blue Note Special, which concentrated more on blues and won the Piedmont Blues Society's Talent Contest in 1988.
While playing area venues, Morris's talents impressed the former Muddy Waters sideman Bob Margolin and Sapphire's Anne Rabson, who recommended Morris to The Nighthawks' cofounder, harp ace Marc Wenner. Wenner had been looking for a guitarist to replace original guitarist Jimmy Thackery, who left in 1987.
Morris had some big shoes to fill. Thackery spent 15 years touring the world with the Hawks, and his sound was indelibly imprinted on the band and their fans. To raise the "follow this if you can" stakes higher, Morris's predecessors had included Warren Haynes, former Dickie Betts Band guitarist, then Allman Brothers ax man before forming Gov't Mule. Margolin had also held down the slot for a while, as had Jimmy Nalls, formerly of Sea Level. Nalls quit the Hawks to work with T. Graham Brown, leaving the opening that Morris filled. In 1993 The Nighthawks recorded one of their stellar live performances and the result was the critically acclaimed CD "Rock This House" which features Danny's amazing guitar virtuosity ranging from blues, funk, jazz, and rockabilly. The CD was the follow up for the 1991 release âTROUBLEâ.
Nighthawk Wenner remembers that Morris was "quite right for the situation musically and visually. But, I think that one of the things with Danny was the he was in his 20s and we were in our late 40s. We always wanted to go back to the hotel and chill and he always wanted to hang and jam all night."
In 1995, Morris decided that he needed more hang time and went out on his own. The guitarist started his namesake band as a side-project while still with the Hawks, playing around the Virginia/DC area whenever he had time off. The trio was already stretching out from straight-ahead blues. Morris told the Charlotte Observer that performing the same changes on a nightly basis was "like going in and reciting the same conversation over and over. My influences are broad so as an artist I always like to broaden my palette".
He released his first album in 1996. âI Won't Worryâ was a mix of surf, jazz and old-school rock and roll. Two years later, he came out with âStorm Surgeâ, pushing the envelope even further, bringing onboard a couple of Cuban mixes to add to his now-familiar fusion of blues and surf. Both received high praises from music critics and fans alike. âStorm Surgeâ contains 12 original tunes, including "Violated", a reverb-rockin' true tale and a favorite among fans. Mike Joyce, of the Washington Post proclaimed, âItâs hard to imagine anyone not being impressed with Morrisâ versatility and imaginationâ Rapidly gaining notoriety for his eclectic song writing and awe-inspiring guitar performance, Danny has been compared to such greats as Dick Dale, Danny Gatton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Duane Eddy.
His 2001 release, âThe Golden Prizeâ, mixes ska ("No One Knows Virginia"), samba ("You're Mine," "Our Moon") and '50s era rock ("Twistinâ Kristin") with surf classics like "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Pipeline". Morris even throws in a little soft-core punk with "All I Think Aboutâ. The Beatles get a turn in "Please, Please Me" done as an instrumental with Dick Dale flourishes. Morris finally gets down and dirty with some nasty blues on the closer, "Stop Teasin' Meâ, ripping off some pretty tasty, nasty, greasy Texas-style slide with Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers while sax man Jimmy Carpenter blows a sack full of back alley bump and grind. Phil Dirt of Reverb Central says, âSurf instros lay side by side with soft blues and roots music, and the combo works well. The Danny Morris Band has found a groove that transcends several genre boundaries in a natural and friendly way. An excellent album, especially the opening instro "Flight Schoolâ, Danny can play guitar!"
In 2002, Danny moved to Orlando, Florida to learn the ins and outs of recording studio technology at Full Sail College. In 2003, he earned a degree in Audio Engineering, receiving top honors in several courses, including earning a Pro Tools Certification specializing in audio post-production.
Upon graduation Danny worked at Orlandoâs Sound-O-Rama post-production studio where his main duties were audio editing, sound design and music composition, among others. But late in 2003, the lure of music and travel were calling again.
In February 2004, Danny once again partnered with his good friends Mark Wenner and The Nighthawks for a three-week European tour. It would be Nighthawk bass player Jan Zukowskiâs last tour after thirty-five years with the band. âI missed the musicâ¦ my music the mostâ, said Danny. He moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida to once again pursue his music passion full time.
In January 2006, Danny will release a live DVD filmed in a local beachside club capturing the guitaristâ stunning live performance and tight rhythm section consisting of Mike Tolnay on bass and Chris Waldron on drums. Already receiving pre-release rave reviews, the DVD audio was recorded, produced and mixed by Danny himself. âThe video captures all the spontaneity, energy and interaction of our live performances that our fans love to see each show. Itâs a straight-ahead, rockinâ show by three real-live musicians playing real-live music with no overdubs, sequences or pre-recorded anythingâ, says Danny.
In addition to his own performances, Danny has shared the stage with numerous artists (and idols) including: John Lee Hooker, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Smithereens, Earl King, John Hammond Jr., B.B. King, Ben E. King, Tom Principato, Danny Gatton, Gatemouth Brown, Mick Fleetwood, Luther Allison, Bill Kirchen, James Cotton, Fingers Taylor, Rod Piazza, Charlie Musselwhite, Johnny Clyde Copeland, and Robert Cray.
Now based in the âsmall wave capitol of the east coastâ, Danny and the band are steadily performing and touring once again throughout the US, Canada and Caribbean. Playing venues of all sorts; from The Marie Becker Longboard Surf Contest in New Jersey; to The Dinosaur BBQ and Blues Club in New York; to The Green Parrot in Key West; to The Hull Bay Surf Club in St. Thomas, Danny plays to a loyal and dedicated fan base that is excited and eager to catch the band whenever possible. In addition to the Live DVD, new releases are slated for 2006, most notably a huge collection of official âbootlegâ recordings fans can check out online at the bandâs website https://www.tradebit.com. With veteran musicians Mike Tolnay on bass and Chris Waldron on drums, the band is more rockinâ than ever and Danny is poised to be THE guitaristâs guitarist and performerâs performer youâll want to hip yourself to.
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