A long-time fixture on the Sydney folk music scene, The Morrisons have finally released their debut album and it both cements their status as a highly accomplished group of players and highlights the strength of their songwriting.
Jimmy Daley contributes most of the songs with James Morrison penning three, before they round out the album with a cover of Bill Monroe’s ‘Southern Flavour’. Live, the focus is often on the playing – the dancing fiddle melodies, Zane Banks’ hyper-speed banjo playing – but here the songs come to fore and in particular the lyrics and exceptionally strong vocal performances.
There is a distinctly Australian flavour to the music, specifically Sydney-based much of the time. They aren’t token Aussie references though, the stories of people, native and immigrant, their experiences, successes and trials, are all embedded in the fabric of the songs.
The vocals range from Daley’s weathered and lilting melodies on ‘Two Years In The Mines’ to Morrison’s raw emotion on ‘Melina’ and the plaintiff back-porch country blues of ‘Turn The Lights On’, making for a highly accomplished and musically exhilarating debut album.