MARCH 5, 2021

ROCKWiRED NOTES: CARY MORiN AND GHOST DOG the time this pandemic is over, everybody is going to have an album!” Those were the words of singer songwriter guitarist CARY MORIN's publicist in regard to his latest album DOCKSIDE SAINTS, an homage to the blues and zydeco sounds of the New Orleans area, which was recorded in 2020 just a heartbeat before the global pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Evidently there was some question about what to do with the mastered recordings when it was announced that the good people of the world needed to mask up, stay six feet apart from one another and stop going to live shows. Thankfully Mr. MORIN realized that the world needed something to listen to in a time marked by lock downs and just plain old isolation.

Global pandemic or no global pandemic, MORIN's musicality was never lacking. A Crow tribal member, MORIN was born in Billings, Montana and raised in Great Falls four hours away from the Crow Reservation. It was there that MORIN discovered a knack for music through piano lessons and recitals that would paralyze the young musician with stage fright. However, it wasn't until he picked up the guitar that MORIN would truly find his own musical identity. MORIN would hit the ground running with his musical ambitions when he relocated to Colorado and formed the band ATOLL in 1989. Through this experience, MORIN and his band toured the country and MORIN became known for his inimitable finger picking style on the guitar - a skill that he has brandished for over six albums now. Throughout the course of his career MORIN has graced the stages of such notable venues as PARIS JAZZ FESTIVAL, WINTER PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL, FOLK ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL, RIVER PEOPLE FESTIVAL, SHAKORI HILL FESTIVAL, THE 2010 VANCOUVER OLYMPICS and the COPENHAGEN BLUES FESTIVAL.

With the release of a solo album that he can't tour for and all of the right venues remaining until the pandemic is over, MORIN has only found more time to create more music with the band GHOST DOG. A couple of weeks ago MORIN and GHOST DOG released the single and music video for TRUST, a plaintive rootsy slow burn all about what we've got to do to survive the tough times. One may think that the pandemic served as the inspiration for the gentle track, but according to MORIN, the song was written years ago and simply dusted off.

ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with CARY MORIN regarding the new single and his 2020 album DOCKSIDE SAINTS. Here is how the interview went.

You and the band GHOST DOG have just released the single and the music video for TRUST. Now that the video and song are gaining some traction how do you feel about the song you've just released?

I'm really happy with the song and the video. TRUST was a song that I wrote years ago for this stage play I had written. I had actually recorded it for one of my previous albums, but it was just a bare-boned acoustic performance. It didn't have the full band feel like this versions does and the earlier version never really got out there before. I think the backing of the band and my wife's harmonies really make the song stand out. I'm really excited to have t he song out there for people to hear.

That's quite a surprise to hear that the song was actually written years ago. It sounds quite timely to what's going on now with the pandemic and the politics of the time.

That was thanks to some encouragement from my wife CELESTE. She heard something in that song and realized that it was song that speaks to everything that is going on right now in the world. It is strange how serendipitous it all was. My friend ANDREW produced the track and everyone who played on it really did a great job. I really love working with this band.

How long have you been working with the band GHOST DOG?

Ever since the pandemic started, GHOST DOG has been my main focus. Before that we had toured off and on and that was about it. Altogether, I would say that this band has been together for about 2 years now.


Despite the music industry being brought to a standstill because of the pandemic, it sounds like you've managed to keep busy. You released the album DOCKSIDE SAINTS late last year. You recorded the album in Louisiana. How did you manage to do that in a year marked by a pandemic?

It was really strange how that whole album came together. We were in the middle of a tour and we stopped in Lafayette, Louisiana as well as New Orleans. A friend of ours had told us about this studio outside of Lafayette called DOCKSIDE STUDIO. We went out that way to check out the studio and we fell in love with it. There was just so much music that had been recorded onto that sound board. We met with the owners of the studio and we scheduled some time to record there in a years time. A year later we got the songs and put together a band and recorded everything in that amazing studio. Six months later we got the album mastered in Nashville. About week after the album was mastered, the pandemic hit and all of out shows were canceled. In fact, we were on the road as everything came to a stop and we found ourselves driving home on deserted interstates. So we had this finished that we couldn't tour behind and we didn't know what to do, but our publicist gave the album a listen and encouraged us to release it.

The album has come out a very interesting. What kind of reactions have you been able to gauge from the album's release?

People have really loved it. We recorded the music in a very unique region – a region that is famous for music – and because of that, people really took to the album. It was just too bad that we weren't able to tour for it which is what we usually would've done. Maybe it will happen some day when circumstances welcome it. In the meantime, I'm glad that people have responded positively to the album.

What inspired that particular set of songs?

The inspiration for these songs started the moment we checked out DOCKSIDE STUDIO. Just taking in this amazing studio got the ball rolling for the song ideas and it became our fantasy to record an album there. After we visited the studio we continued with our tour and a lot of the songs on the album were written during the remainder of the tour. Some of the songs were written in Europe and I remember being in Italy and looking at the architecture which reminded me of having a cup of coffee in New Orleans. It was my love of Louisiana that sparked the writing of these songs.

Describe the songwriting process for you. How do you go about it?

It happens a couple of different ways. With this album there was more intention behind writing the songs. I had a lot of imagery and experiences to work with and all I had to do was still down and start playing the guitar. When I start playing I try to find a chord progression and a hook that I haven't come up with before and it usually helps when I have a device of some sort to try to capture the moment. Once I've got the music locked down. I try working on the lyrics. With my songs I try to write little stories. I'm constantly writing things down and once I fell like I've got the lyrics of a song down I take music that I've come up with and I try to put it all together. Outside of this or that phone app, this is pretty much the process I've used for most of my life. I used to carry around one of those mini-cassette recorders to try and record everything. I also find that driving is the best time to try to come up with song ideas because when you are on the road it creates a rhythm and it allows you to go over ideas repetitiously and I star to get a clearer idea of what I would like to do musically and if CELESTE is with me, we can come up with ideas together.

From the album, what songs stand out for you the most and why?

COME THE RAIN is the lone rocker on the album. It was inspired by a TAJ MAHAL song I had heard on SPOTIFY. I thought that there was something amazing about the simplicity of the song and I wanted to try to do something like that with this chord structure I had come up with. Lyrically I wanted to compare the flood of a bayou to a relationship that has gone out of control and the song emerged really quickly. It was the last song written for the album and it's the last song on the track listing for the album. Another song that stands out for me is BLUE DELTA HOME. I don't remember where I wrote it. It's a song about living in the south. It's a relationship song and CELESTE sings an amazing harmony on it. Those two songs are definitely the high points for me from this album. I really enjoy them.

At what point did you realize that being a performer was what you were going to do?

It started by me listening to old records in the seventies. I grew up in Montana and a lot of the music that I was first introduced to came from my parents and my older brother and that included music from people like NEIL YOUNG, CHET ATKINS and CHARLEY PRIDE. The first instrument I eve played was the piano and through that I became enthralled by artists like ELTON JOHN and CHUBBY CHECKER. I was ten years old when I picked up the guitar and it was strange to me how easily I was able to figure it out. Once I figured it out I wanted explore all of these harmonies that I heard from artists like CROSBY STILLS & NASH and CAT STEVENS. Their harmonies fascinated me. And there were these guitar tones from artists like LED ZEPPELIN and QUEEN and that I really wanted to understand. I always felt like I could never do what these amazing people could do, but I never gave up. Keep in mind that this was the seventies and I was living in Montana so it wasn't easily accessible. A lot of the music I saw being performed was on HEE HAW or DON KIRSHNER'S IN CONCERT. Through all of that I knew that I wanted to be a performer but at the time I was really afraid of playing in front of people. I would just freeze up during a piano recital but I knew that being a performer was something that I wanted to be.

What's next for you musically?

Funny that you ask that. At the moment I'm working on the pre-production for the upcoming GHOST DOG album. With everything going on in the world right now this band is my primary focus. Outside of GHOST DOG the next thing I'd like to do is a solo acoustic album. I've got a lot of time these days to create and to focus.

FOR MORE iNFORMATiON GO TO: Lush is a music industry professional and entrepreneur. In 2005 he launched the online music site to help promote new music artists in conjunction with the weekly radio show Rockwired Live which aired on KTSTFM.COM from 2005 - 2009. In 2010 He launched the daily podcast series Rockwired Radio Profiles which features exclusive interviews and music. He has also developed and produced the online radio shows Jazzed and Blue - Profiles in Blues and Jazz, Aboriginal Sounds - A Celebration of American Indian and First Nations Music, The Rockwired Rock N Roll Mixtape Show and The Rockwired Artist of the Month Showcase. In 2012, Brian Lush and his company Rockwired Media LLC launched the monthly digital online publication Rockwired Magazine. The magazine attracts over 75,000 readers a month and shows no signs of stopping. Rockwired Magazine also bares the distinction of being the first American Indian-owned rock magazine. Brian Lush is an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Brian Lush's background in music journalism, radio and podcast hosting, podcast production, web design, publicity, advertising sales, social media and online marketing, strategic editorial planning and branding have all made Rockwired a name that is trusted and respected throughout the independent music industry.

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