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Live at the Oscar
  • Artist: Craig Morrison
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 620675202624
  • Item #: SRD520262
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 2/21/2006
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
List Price: $16.98
Price: $14.73
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Description

Live at the Oscar on CD

Craig Morrison is an ethnomusicologist involved with rock and roll and it's roots as a musician, author, and teacher. He started the Momentz in 1985 after moving to Montreal from Victoria (on Canada's west coast). The band's repertoire is eclectic, including early rhythm & blues and rock and roll (especially rockabilly), and '60s British invasion songs, garage nuggets, and California psychedelic folk rock, plus some originals. Craig Morrison & the Momentz have been keeping rock and roll and it's roots alive for two decades. They have gigged around the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec, performing in all types of venues: nightclubs, hotels, reception halls, radio stations, studios, tents, gazebos, trains, synagogues, outdoor festivals, agricultural fairs, department stores, book stores, subways, hospitals, parks, classrooms, restaurants, and private homes. This CD, released in 2006, was recorded live (no overdubs!) at one of the band's Annual Roots of Rock and Roll shows at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, named for the legendary jazz pianist who grew up nearby. The series was initiated in 1998, and the concert occurs on the first weekend in February, the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly. One of the goals of the show is to underline that, despite what Don McLean sings in 'American Pie,' the music never died. Morrison wrote what has been called the definitive book on rockabilly, Go Cat Go! Rockabilly Music And It's Makers, and his latest book is an encyclopedia called American Popular Music: Rock and Roll. He teaches Rock And Roll And It's Roots at Concordia University. THE BAND Craig Morrison: vocals, guitar, piano on 9, 10 Marianne Brousseau: background vocals John McDiarmid: piano (except 9, 10) Lloyd Dallaire: bass Pierre Gauthier: drums THE SONGS (notes by CM) 1. Good Rockin' Tonight (Roy Brown). I'm not alone in considering the Wynonie Harris version of this, recorded in the last days of 1947, the first rock and roll record. Elvis Presley also did it in the mid-1950s. 2. Everyday (Charles Hardin/Norman Petty). A Buddy Holly song that was the flipside of "Peggy Sue" in 1957. 3. Break Up (Charlie Rich). A 1950s rockabilly song that was recorded by Rich, Ray Smith, and Jerry Lee Lewis, all pianists that got their start with the famous Sun label of Memphis. 4. Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (Pete Seeger/Joe Hickerson). Folk music icon Pete Seeger composed it in the 1950s, from lines of a Ukrainian folk song that he had come across in a celebrated war novel by Mikhail Sholokhov called And Quiet Flows the Don. Seeger's song had only three verses, and when Hickerson heard it, he added two more at the end to make the song's images form a circle. It became a popular anti-war song, and a hit twice: for the Kingston Trio in 1962, and three years later for Johnny Rivers. I added it to my repertoire after interviewing Joe Hickerson and also Bob Shane of the Kingston Trio. 5. The Cuckoo (traditional, arranged by CM). I've been doing this archaic folk song since learning it from a friend in the early 1970s. Janis Joplin is one of many singers who have sung it. 6. A Certain Girl (Naomi Neville). The writer's credit is a pseudonym for the famed New Orleans pianist and producer Allen Toussaint. Recorded first by Ernie K-Doe, the song was then covered by the Yardbirds in 1964, which is how I first heard it. 7. Every Time You Walk In the Room (Jackie De Shannon). I learned it from a record by the Searchers, a wonderful Liverpool group who were contemporaries of the Beatles. 8. Postcard From Amsterdam (C. Morrison). I wrote it in the famous city in Holland, deeply affected by visiting the Anne Frank house and learning more about how she wrote her famous diary while the family attempted to hide from the Nazis. 9. Famous New Orleans (C.Morrison). When the sound system microphones briefly stopped working during the show, I spontaneously went to the piano and played this and the next track as an unrehearsed duet with the drummer. The piece is my take on a favorite theme of New Orleans pianists such as Dr. John and Professor Longhair. 10. Love Letters in the Sand (N.Kenny/C.Kenny/J.F.Coots). Once Fats Domino showed how, with "Blueberry Hill," to update old songs by using a loping bass line and piano triplets, lots of people followed his example. One was Pat Boone who redid this 1931 song in 1957 and took it to #1. 11. Himalaya (C.Morrison). An original song, inspired by an album called Festivals of the Himalayas, issued by the Nonesuch label as part of their fascinating Explorer series. The jam includes guitar and piano solos, and, briefly, a bass solo. The psychedelic style comes from my West Coast upbringing. My research on the development of West Coast music in the 1960s will be a future book. 12. Passing of the Train (Jim Rushing/Gene Nelson). I heard it on a terrific bluegrass album by Rhonda Vincent and thought it would work well in rockabilly style. (By the way, I have a bluegrass CD also available on CDBABY. It's called Echoes From the Blue Angel, by Craig Morrison and his Bluegrass Buddies.)