Era’s pass but genuine Artist’s don’t. Russell Morris’s Music career took off in the 70’s, a politically volatile time of change and youth culture that was spurned on by the Vietnam War. A heartfelt era funnelled through substandard audio; AM radios, record players and cassettes stuffed into dashboards of Holden station-wagons. Pub gigs offered the opportunity for audiences to hear the complete sound and this has not changed. A live gig can make or break a band and Morris hasn’t lost it, in fact he continues to perfect his craft.
On Saturday night at the MEMO music hall, in St Kilda, that was at capacity. A great venue but beware of the nocturnal parking inspectors. Morris was backed by a very funky blues band, the Three Kings that kicked off a the show with a flawless performance that engaged the crowd.
Morris and his band performed their latest work with the Classics. Presently Morris is digging into the roots of our nation whist his earlier work transcended the earthly bonds. Both are distinctively Morris but predictively it was the Sweet, Sweet Love; Wings of an Eagle and The Real Thing that got the crowd to their feet.
Originally it was ‘The Real Thing’ that morphed Morris from Blues Man to Soul Man with the lyrics from Johnny Young and the vision of Molly Meldrum, an Aussie trilogy that blended into a huge hit and became the sound track of the 70’s.
The hit extended beyond our shores to New York and inspired a generation. Young may not have reached his potential heights, but his work soared through Morris to become a classic. Morris found his way and wrote into the hearts of his audience with the Bloodstone Album that included; ‘Wings of an Eagle’ and ‘Sweet, Sweet Love’ and led him into Australia’s ‘Hall of Fame’; archived and ready to be picked up for generations to come.
As a historical twist Russell had offered ‘Sweet , Sweet Love’ to Johnny Farnham but he knocked it back due to the chorus delay, it seems that fate had smiled on Morris and he made it his own. Hits rained on Morris, the type that can stand the test of time. Authenticity and passion distinguished the language of his art, it was unique and distinctive then and remains so today.