Monday, May 18, 2009

An evening with James Morrison

For those of you unfamiliar with James Morrison, no I am not referring to nor is he related to the iconic whiskey drinking, chain-smoking "Door" in the sixties. The initials just seem to be a coincidence. The Morrison that I am speaking of is actually a 25 year old acclaimed singer/songwriter from the U.K. who, despite his tendencies to be a little vanilla for my taste, has an extremely soulful and powerful voice and, at times, lyrics that can wrench even the toughest of guts.

So, naturally, when the Granada Theater announced that he would be passing through on April 23rd, fellow band mates Josh Goode, Bobby Hathorn, and I jumped at the chance to see him live at such an intimate venue. One of the first things I noticed was that the crowd was absolutely elated to have him there, the place was packed and very devoted to giving their undivided attention, and that is an almost guaranteed sign that it's going to be a good show. Mr. Morrison took the stage, with his first song being "Only One Night" from his sophomore album Songs for you, Truths for Me. He came fully loaded with a fantastic backup band equipped with keys and, much to Josh and I's excitement, backup singers! James spent most of his set performing his newer tracks including "You Make it Real", "Precious Love", and "Broken Strings", but he did go ahead and throw in some of his earlier favorites such as "Undiscovered", "You Give Me Something" and "Wonderful World.". My personal favorite, and probably the crowd's as well, was his performance of "You Don't Want to Love Me", it's a tender and heartfelt ballad that Morrison performed with delicate yet raw emotion.

Overall, Mr. Morrison exceeded my expectations with his unrelenting ability to pour heart and soul into his vocal performance from the first note to the last. His recorded tracks are impressive but the best way to experience James Morrison is in a live setting. One extra perk, as a promotion to sell his most recent album, if you purchased Songs for You, Truths for Me James did a meet and greet after the show. Josh and I took advantage of the opportunity, and he was very gracious, humble, and polite. So all in all, I give Morrison two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Liz Williams
Live Music Director