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Jackie Morris: Bio

Releasing five albums in the past eleven years, singer/songwriter Jackie Morris has built a reputation for engaging “story songs” that combine traditional Folk and Americana styles with contemporary themes.  A Pandora artist, she is best known for her insinuating melodies and her way with words – lyrics laced with humor and irony, sometimes poignant, and often thought-provoking – as well as an uncommon vibrato whistle.   These qualities, plus the accompaniment of some truly inspired instrumentalists, have put her last four albums on the Folk Radio Airplay Charts, as well as placed her fourth album, “Can’t Fix Crazy,” at #35 on RMR’s Top 100 Americana Country Albums Chart for 2014. 

Jackie grew up in New York City, where her earliest musical influences were folk icons like Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, Woodie Guthrie, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan – and yes, her father, playing accordion, a cool ragtime piano, and whistling. Later, of course, she came to admire John Prine, Judy Collins, Simon and Garfunkle, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and countless others.  But the result is that each of her albums reflects a vibrant mix of blues, ballads, bluegrass and folk-rock, as well as some old-time, good-time rhythms.   

By age 13, her little childhood ukulele was replaced by an acoustic guitar, and almost immediately Jackie started to write her own songs.  On weekends in high school she’d play in Washington Square in Greenwich Village, and later at The Midtown Inn in Cortland, N.Y., where she went to college.  But after graduating, it was many years before Jackie returned to serious song-writing. 

She earned a Masters in English from NYU and went on to make a living as a writer and editor – writing book jackets in New York, and later, advertising in Los Angeles. This writing background was not wasted when she returned to music 15 years ago and the songs began to flow.

Her voice is consistently described, as J.W. McClure (reviewer for Victory Music) put it, as “soft and warm, and she seems to be smiling through the delivery... the perfect medium to deliver some clever, punchy lyrics.”

In addition, she has been privileged to be accompanied by some of the most outstanding musicians on the West Coast.  Her second album, “Money to Burn,” features the late, great Kenny Edwards (co-founder of the Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt) on guitar, bass and mandolin; other albums feature fiddler Gabe Witcher (of the Punch Brothers) ... bluesman Alastair Greene (guitarist with Alan Parsons) on resonator guitar ... and David Piltch (bassist to k.d. lang). The latest album also features renowned guitarist Ed ward Tree (Spencer Davis, Rita Coolidge);  and all five albums display the multi-instrumental wizardry of David West (formerly with Kate Wolf and Cache Valley Drifters) on guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro and bass.   

Jackie Morris has performed locally on the Central Coast of California for many years before moving to the south of France, where she now lives for half the year.  She appeared on “The Roadtunes Sessions” on KCSB (Santa Barbara), where her first album was a pledge drive selection.  In October 2014, she was the featured artist on Jon Stein’s Hootenanny Café, WTBQ (Warwick, New York).  Most recently she did a series of benefit concerts in France to raise money for medical supplies for Syrian refugee children.  

Her albums have continued to be enthusiastically recieved.  Her third album, “Tell Me a Story” was among Top Albums of the Year on the Folk Music Radio Airplay Charts of 2011, and had the honor of being named among “favorite albums of 2011” by long-time DJs – Bill Halhn (WFDU) and Lilli Kuzma (WDCB).  And the title track of her fourth album, “Can’t Fix Crazy,” was  #7 on the Roots Music Report Americana Country Song Charts. Her newly-released album, "Periscope Heart," has received a 5-star review from Country Music People.

Jackie also released a music video in 2015, shot in France, featuring her popular single, “Bon Appetit.”