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Russell Morris - Black And Blue Heart (2019)

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Russell Morris - Black And Blue Heart (2019)

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01. Ain't No Angel (03:26)
02. Is There Anybody Out There? (04:18)
03. Sitting Pretty (03:42)
04. Black And Blue Heart (05:03)
05. See You Go (03:26)
06. Full Moon (03:15)
07. Not My Lucky Day (03:43)
08. Fat Man And The Priest (03:52)
09. Asleep At The Wheel (04:39)
10. Witness Protection (04:08)
11. Forever Remembered (04:12)

Russell Morris - Vocals, Guitar
Dan Kelly - Guitar
Matt Englebrecht - Bass
Declan Kelly - Drums
Wolfmother’s Ian Peres - Keyboards 

 

After the success of his last release, 2016’s ARIA Blues & Roots Album of the Year ‘Red Dirt – Red Heart’, you could be excused for thinking Russell Morris was going to continue to chill things down and remain a blues & roots artist for the rest of his days. If your last album collected such wonderful accolades & awards, then why wouldn’t you? But after recently interviewing Russell if found him to be a man who likes to challenge himself and push his own musical boundaries. ‘Black and Blue Heart’ is a fantastic collection of eleven-songs, showing that Morris is still full of creative writing, even after a fifty-year career in the industry.

The album opens with the energetic ‘Ain’t No Angel’ before taking a more shuffling blues feel with ‘Is There Anybody Out There’. ‘Sitting Pretty’ is just one of the highlights for me with its catchy guitar riff at the start & great tempo throughout. I’m hearing a bit of Roger Waters in the title track & mentioned this to Russell when speaking to him and he informed me it wasn’t intentional but that he was a Pink Floyd fan back in the day. A vibe of another artist I pick up is that of Chris Rea – ‘Not My Lucky Day’ & ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ could almost have been written for Rea and are wonderful tracks. Songs like ‘Fat Man & the Priest’, ‘See You Go’ & the wonderful ‘Full Moon’ makes this a solid album from start to finish and I’m sure the eclectic collection will have Morris fans debating their favourites for years to come. The album closes with the incredibly emotional ‘Forever Remembered’ which I have since learnt actually reduced band members to tears after recording.

During the inception, Russell sent the tracks to Powderfinger’s Bernard Fanning, having spent three or four months writing & demo-ing the songs – Fanning was immediately hooked after a couple of listens and he & Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Powderfinger, Pearl Jam) decided to record & produce ‘Black and Blue Heart’ with fabulous results. ---Sean Bennett, therockpit.net

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