Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reggie Wayne Morris Releases Debut Album, Don't Bring Me Daylight

Let’s start the new year off by writing one of the wrongs of the previous year. Somewhere in 2016 I received an album from an artist that was new to me, Reggie Wayne Morris. Got a nice email following up and I gave the album a listen and liked what I heard. Scheduled a review and everything.
Then, it seemed like the world was falling apart at the seams and Morris’ album, Don’t Bring Me Daylight, got shuffled off to the side and while it was never completely forgotten, it didn’t rise back up to the top of the pack. That was my fault, as Morris’ album was very good.
Fast forward to a couple of months later when I was working my way through some previous releases while recovering from some surgery and I rediscovered the album. Then I listened a second – then a third time. It was even better than I initially thought.
Morris works with collaborator Gerald Robinson and they wrote or co-wrote all but one of the 11 songs on the album. The album has a definite funky side to it, and Morris sometimes takes his blues into different directions, but make no mistake, at heart this is one of the most solidly blues oriented albums and I gladly placed it on my Best of 2016 list.
Morris performs all the vocals and plays lead guitar on all the tracks and is backed by Chuck Fuerte and Ezell Jones on drums; Vinny Hunter, Pete Kanaras, Chris Sellman, and Ray Tilkens on bass; and Mark Stevens and Bob Borderman on organ and piano.
The album starts out on an autobiographical note. Son Of A Blues Fan tells the story of growing up with a father who turns him on to play the blues. It’s a good funky tune and a real feel good story. Morris’ vocals are slick and Stevens’ organ and Sellman’s bass add a great dimension to the song.
Morris slows things down just a tad with the follow up, Used To Have A Woman. This is a fine “done me wrong” song with a solid bass line laid down by Kanaras. Two songs in and it’s obvious this is a highly listenable album with a lot to offer.
He keeps the slower solid groove going with Sign My Check. It’s a good follow up to the previous song as the singer is still having trouble with his woman and has come up with another decent song about the experience.
He picks things up with the driving Another Can Of Worms. This is the first collaboration between Morris and Gerald Robinson who writes most of the songs on the album. This one has a nice swing to it and I know this would be a big hit performed live. Listen for Morris’ guitar lead as it is a great compliment to his vocals.
The title track, Don’t Bring Me Daylight, is another by Gerald Robinson who is proving himself to be a strong songwriter. It’s a solid offering that makes good use of Steven’s piano work to give it a little honkytonk feel.
Ball & Chain has an old school feeling to it, the kind of soul music that used to play on radios before the conglomerates took over the airwaves. I love these kinds of songs and could hear just about any of the greats sing it, but Morris delivers the goods. Of course, he did write it, so there’s that…
Morris is back in swing mode with Too Many Cooks and another “done me wrong” song. These story songs are fun and here he straddles the line between soul and blues. Who cares about lines? Just enjoy the song.
She’s Gone starts off with a nice guitar riff and a slower deliberate groove. You can feel the singer’s pain almost immediately and this another one that grabs you and doesn’t let go. One of my favorites on the album. Meet Me starts out in a similar fashion and maintains the deliberate pace. The lyrics do offer a little surprise and hope for a better day.
The pace picks up a little with Ooooo Weeee, and the funk factor is definitely upped. This also continues the sexy factor that was started in the previous song. It’s a little innocent kinky fun.
The album concludes with God Loves You, the last of three collaborations between Morris and Robinson. It has a different flavor than much of the album, mixing in some interesting grooves and percussion. Reminds me a little of some of Marvin Gaye’s work. Morris’ vocals are strong and it’s a satisfying end to a very strong album.

Don’t Bring Me Daylight is a fun, funky, freaky album that would make a great addition to your collection. It’s released through Blue Jay Sound and you can find it at the usual places. If you want more information about where Morris is playing, be sure to check out his website at http://rwmband.com/ and while you’re there, let him know the Professor sent you.

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