Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Jackie Morris: Press

“A brilliant songwriter with a great voice.”
Bill Hahn, WFDU radio host/producer, "Traditions" - "Daily Rooster"
"Hootenanny Cafe Mini Concert featuring: Amazing singer songwriter, Jackie Morris. Her songs and voice are mesmerizing. You can't help being swayed by the music."
Jon Stein - Hootenanny Cafe, FOLKDJ-L (Oct 9, 2014)

PRAISE FOR PERISCOPE HEART

Sweetness, lightness, kindness, gentility, joy, love. Boy howdy, we sure could use a little of that stuff these days. When it seems all the news is bad and every jangled headline serves only to drive us ever deeper into despair, I often feel like Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant when he screeched, “Does anybody remember laughter?” Fortunately for us, Jackie Morris not only remembers, but holds an abundance of laughter, love and joy in her heart which she deftly shares with us in her fifth studio album, Periscope Heart.

Morris’ warm voice warbling sweetly across these ten original songs invites us to take a moment, breathe and reclaim our own joy of life. Robinson Eikenberry’s production is appropriately light and spacious, leaving plenty of room for Morris and her talented accompanists to shine.

While Morris’ guitar and David Piltch’s upright bass hold down the rhythm throughout, the lead guitars of David West, Tony Ybarra and the ubiquitous Ed Tree are sweet as candy. Rebecca Troon (of Santa Barbara’s Honeysuckle Possums) and Lark Cobb lend their voices to several wonderful harmonies while Lorenzo Martinez and Austin Beede add tasteful percussion to several tracks.

All this great playing is done in service to the songs. Morris’ song-craft is strong, insightful and poetic. There’s a nice variety of songs here. Pop, folk, jazz and blues are all tied together by the breezy yet heartfelt delivery of Morris’ voice.

She croons and scats through the jazzy opener, When the Time Comes and then brews up the delicious blues of Coffee KissesBon Appetit, with Michael Gutin’s evocative accordion celebrates the relaxed wisdom of two-hour lunches of the small town in southern France where Morris has spent the past few summers.

The wistful Autumn Song where “the wind in the trees make the red and gold leaves wave goodbye” floats dreamily aloft with twinkling jazz piano of Julie Bonk. This track also features the incredible whistling of Morris. Yes, that’s right, and it bears mentioning that Morris is indeed keeper of the flame of the lost art of melodic whistling. Not as a novelty but as a real instrument. As far as I know she’s the only one doing this and it blows my mind and melts my heart at the same time.

The cowbell and Latin percussion lead into the jaunty, Jimmy Buffetty Miami where “They’re eating it up and drinking it down,” while the patchwork quilt memories of Through the Eye of a Needle is sewn from scraps of daily living into a work of art.

Sailing Away speaks to the intrepid sailor in all of us and is an empowering message to anyone setting out on a new course, and the down-home blues of Walkin’ Away features Ed Tree’s ripping acoustic guitar and the harmonica of Tom Ball.

Devil in the Heartland is the only song here that deviates from the light-hearted vibe, but its inclusion is necessary because expressing love and light does not come in a vacuum. Reclaiming your joy doesn’t mean turning your mind off to what’s going on in the world. The sentiment of this song is the only possible reaction of a compassionate person to the meanness that overwhelms us today. Even in this darkness Morris never drifts to meanness herself but seeks the answer in kindness. Love beats hate, because it must.

Of all these wonderful songs, it’s the title track I keep returning to. Its beautiful melody, its message of love for her traveling man comes through in every sweet syllable.

I’ve got a periscope heart

I can see above the surface

So when I’m down

I can see more than blue

I can look back in time

To the love and the laughter

But I mostly look forward

To being with you

I think it’s more important now than ever to hang on to every sweetness, embrace every love, nourish every weary soul with kindness and never, ever let anybody steal your joy. Jackie Morris dares to be sweet, to smile and laugh and love and be human. If she can, well, maybe I can too. You should give it a try. Highly recommended.

 

5 STARS

"Jackie Morris has created a fantastic fifth CD.  The entertainment value is sky-high, the musicians in top form, the songs are well written with a sense of style and maturity, and the vocals are spot-on, with a dash of warmth and humour ...

"A wonderful album for anyone into the area where Americana nudges folk, this is a must buy." 

Paul Riley - Country Music People ***** (Jun 1, 2017)

"The opening salvo on Morris’s latest grabs you right away as you wrap your head around how this sounds like her take on Lenny’s “I’m Your Man” comeback.  And then the whimsy, friendliness and organic touches settle in and take over, letting you have your cake and eat it too.  One of the sharpest folkie singer/songwriters keeps her winning ways in tact, while continuing to hone her edge, as she observes the world through a world view and reports back on what she’s found.  Tasty stuff of the highest order, this is kind of solid set that will inspire manques to think it’s as easy as Morris makes it sound.  Top shelf all the way."

Chris Spector - Midwest Record (Apr 21, 2017)

"Yes, that wonderful voice and the powerful whistle. Pretty cool stuff." 

John W. McClure (singer/songwriter & music critic, Victory Magazine) (Apr 22, 2017)

"Congratulations on Periscope Heart - Jackie, you just keep getting more interesting and more daring. I love hearing you trying new rhythms, and an even broader expanse of topics, and touching on a little jazz & blues, all with that disarming and forever-young way you navigate life. You sound like a woman at ease with herself and her life, someone who dares to be happy and can’t help telling the world."

Hal Miller, jazz critic, drummer, and co-author of CARLOS SANTANA, The Universal Tone (Apr 23, 2017)

PRAISE FOR "CAN'T FIX CRAZY"

JACKIE MORRIS/Can’t Fix Crazy: Wow! Despite the album title, this isn’t a comedy record. This is a folk/Americana record that is so perfect and beautiful that you have to play it a few times to be sure you heard what you thought you heard. A bar raising effort from a talent whose name should be one everyone’s lips, this is one killer of a high water mark for folkie/singer-songwriter/acoustic music. A top shelf winner throughout, Morris is charming, warm and such a wonderful writer that driving around with this in the car can easily replace hanging at Starbucks with a pal. Killer stuff throughout.
"Jackie Morris has with her new record given listeners a high quality collection of well written songs, superior melodies, sympathetic production, and the wonderful attack on GMOs. Best of all, Jackie Morris has such a warm, engaging voice. She could probably record almost any song and it would be entertaining. She is another singer who should be much better known, and with her new CD this seems highly likely."
Paul Riley - Country Music People (Jul 1, 2014)
"Outstanding listening....charming...witty and cynically humorous."
Carl Gage - FolkWorks (Mar 10, 2014)
"We just came back from gifted and prolific Jackie Morris’s CD release party for her brand new CD “CAN’T FIX CRAZY”, and couldn’t wait to give it a listen. This is her fourth CD, and every song is a jewel. Her pretty, clear voice and remarkable vibrato whistling bring out the imaginative lyrics. Add to that her wonderful backup band and harmony singers, and I have to say, this is my favorite Jackie CD so far! The tracks are a perfect mix of humorous songs, pensive tunes and sweet songs that touch the heart.

Here are a few of my favorites: The country flavored title song, “Can’t Fix Crazy” (ain’t that the truth!) is now a buzzword around our house. Love Alastair Greene’s great resonator guitar and Gabe Witcher’s fiddle on this one! “I Thought You were a Diamond” is about all the wrong choices “at the pawnshop of the heart,” but would we act differently if given a chance to choose again? You can almost hear the pain in Jackie’s voice, underlined by a heartbreakingly sweet Gabe Witcher fiddle. I really like the haunting “North Hampton Road,” where the wind blows cold on misconceptions, betrayal and false lovers, featuring the sounds of banjo, dobro, and Jackie’s inimitable whistle. Her terrific sense of humor shines through in “Jambalaya,” where her Dad’s family recipe becomes a blueprint for romance: sometimes it’s like heaven on earth, and sometimes, it’s just awful! Love David West’s dobro on this one!

David’s guitar work beautifully accompanies “Things You Must Not Talk About” (when perhaps we should, says Jackie), her social conscience song about a young girl’s awakening to the realities of racism and prejudice. Then it’s off to the “Factory Farm”, a song for everybody who ever bit into a picture perfect -looking strawberry only to taste cardboard, and those of us who discovered a three-months-old tomato in back of the fridge, looking brand new, just as it left the factory farm. After you listen to this, you, like Jackie, “won’t buy it!”

“Last Leaf” speaks about letting go a beloved child into adulthood, and just about melted my heart, knowing that Jackie wrote this one about her own daughter, “with love forever”. On the next track you can almost hear the impish smile in her voice when she tells the story of “Shy Boy”, who turned out to be not so shy after all, and all a woman could want. Speaking of which, the last song on the album “All I Ever Wanted” paints such a beautiful picture that here’s hoping we all get to find such a place. John O’Kennedy’s lead guitar interweaves perfectly with Gabe Witcher’s fiddle. So pretty! It’s hard to pick a favorite among these great songs, but for me it’s “Come and Gone”, a bitter-sweet reminiscing about good friends and loved ones gone from us, time spent under the summer trees, and hoping to one day do it all again. Love Jim St. Our’s harmony vocal on this one, and Cinder Jean and Rebecca Troon’s on some of the other songs.

All in all, this is a perfect CD for a leisurely listening experience on a warm summer afternoon. Last but not least, enjoy the chicken on the front cover, who appeared out of nowhere and insisted on posing with Jackie for the picture. To view the chicken’s close-up, however, you must purchase the CD, as it is hidden behind the disc when you remove it. You won’t regret it!
Renata Decher - The Bard Chord (Apr 1, 2014)
Jackie Morris has a new CD, just out. She is a treasure who should be nationally famous.
Jackie Morris doesn’t sound like anyone else I’ve heard. Her voice is soft and warm and she seems to be smiling through the delivery... the perfect medium to deliver some clever, punchy lyrics. ... (She) has a great whistle too.
These songs are well thought out, with the right words in the right places. This is acoustic country with some of the best side musicians around, with arrangements to die for.... You could buy this set of songs just to enjoy the instrumentation, but soon you’ll get captured by the lyrics, the voice, the whistle—and I recommend it. -- J.W. McClure, writer, singer, and music critic (for Victory Music)
J.W.McClure, writer, singer & music critic (Victory Music) (Jan 28, 2015)
CAN'T FIX CRAZY is definitely a winner...such an engaging blend of life stories, insinuating melodies, and truly memorable songs, all delivered by Jackie Morris, a story teller supreme.
Hal Miller, jazz historian, drummer, and Latin percussionist with Santana (Mar 17, 2014)
A great CD...(the) songs are insightful and beautifully written. And the production is wonderful.
Joyce Woodson, winner, Will Rogers Academy of Western Artists "Best Female Performer" (Mar 30, 2014)
What a delightful CD. So glad I could be a part of it.
A wonderful record...your voice is so honest and pure and your whistling is off the charts. The arrangements are playful when they need to be and lean when it's appropriate....The whole album is strong and....'Things You Must Not Talk About' is very heartfelt and powerful. I also love its spare arrangement.
I just finished listening to the album. It was thoroughly enjoyable! Your arrangements and mixes are divine!...The whistling is really cool and you've got lovely smooth backup vocals. Very nice harmony. Some good 2-guiat stuff, and I love the tambourine. Honestly, I haven't heard that good a mix on a folk album in ages!
Lorie McCloud, singer/songwriter, Kerrville Finalist (Apr 10, 2014)

PRAISE FOR "TELL ME A STORY"

"Talented songwriter, singer and guitarist, Jackie Morris spins some delightful new tales in her third CD....Once again she has gathered some amazing talent to accompany her...Together, they hae created a wonderful listening experience that you will enjoy over and over."
Gary Lynch - The Bard Chord (May 1, 2011)
"Performing with a crystalline voice...Morris has emerged as a gifted songwriter and entertainer."
Mark Brickley - The Music Beat, Coastal View News (Apr 28, 2011)
"Her music is always exceptional.....(There's) always a wink and a nod in her songs."
Lilli Kuzma, radio host/producer - Folk Festival, WDCB (Jul 26, 2011)
"It is just great (as usual). Just loved the lyrics -- and the music was wonderful."
Bill Hahn, radio host/producer - "Traditions," WFDU
"Thanks for making great music that I can share with my listeners in Boise."
Greg Harness, Radio Host - Ramblers' Retreat, KRBX (Aug 18, 2011)
"Congratulations on another great CD."
Harlon Joye, Radio Host - Fox's Minstrel Show, WRFG
"I am very impressed with both the vocals and the instrumentalists...I will definitely be adding some of the tracks to future play lists."
Jim Fisher - Down Home, WGCS Globeradio
Next Page >>