Bill Morris; Hinterland (billmorris.co.nz)

 |   |  <1 min read

Bill Morris: Roses in a Drawer
Bill Morris; Hinterland (billmorris.co.nz)

This beautifully played and arranged folk-cum-country rock album from the Dunedin singer-songwriter comes with a stellar cast including guitarist/mandolin player John Egenes and Red McKelvie on pedal steel.

Morris writes lyrics which are nailed down by visual detail (the excellent title track, the speak-sing Ruby in the Dust located in outsider Australia, the superb and sad Roses in a Drawer where the lyrics convey something other than the jaunty style suggests), but also powerful narratives.

His story on Gold Light (In the Palm of My Hands) of the road downhill from a joint in a car to dealing, P and prison deserves wide hearing for its subtle shift of image in the chorus.

Morris sings in a flattened antipodean manner which sometimes lacks resonance or expression required, but after a couple of plays he gets under your skin . . . and the stories carry this.

He can be a bit of a sentimentalist (Dusty Corners) which is in the nature of country music, and the ruralism in places might not resonate with hip urban dwellers. 

But No Vacancy in Heaven will pull you up from the first line: "They found his body lying down the motel strip at the northern end of town, out where the cars and factories blend into fields and farms and endless lines of trees . . ."

Deep, dark stuff about lives on the periphery and landscapes which shape them.

Get it from his website.

Share It

Your Comments

Jos - Jun 18, 2015

Man, this guy is amazing, lovely music and killer words, love it to bits!
:)

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

When he left country-rockers Drive-By Truckers in 07, songwriter Isbell was damaged by alcohol and a painful separation, but since then has steadily built a platform as a literate, heartfelt... > Read more

Various Artists: Chimes of Freedom; The Songs of Bob Dylan (Fontana)

Various Artists: Chimes of Freedom; The Songs of Bob Dylan (Fontana)

The Word magazine out of Britain recently had a very funny article about this four CD set of previously unreleased songs by artists covering Bob Dylan, profits from which go to Amnesty... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Nu Page: When the Brothers Come Marching Home (1973)

The Nu Page: When the Brothers Come Marching Home (1973)

The Nu Page were a one-single group signed to the Motown subsidiary label MoWest which released songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Thelma Houston and Tom Clay (whose version of Abraham... > Read more

WAYNE SHORTER ON THE FRONTLINE AGAIN: The Grammy-magnet

WAYNE SHORTER ON THE FRONTLINE AGAIN: The Grammy-magnet

When my eldest son bought a one-way ticket to London and packed his bag, he brought over three boxes of vinyl for me to store. Over the weeks I picked my way through this eclectic treasure trove... > Read more