- Long Island Music Guy

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Kenn Morr Band

As I've written about before, the mid-nineties was the point where I fell into a black hole as far as the national music scene was concerned. After Kurt Cobain died, and alternative rock didn't become the big seller that the record companies hoped it would, they pivoted to prefabricated crappy pop. And I ran for the hills. I started with college radio and indie bands. Then, because I had started managing Denise's band The Slant, I came back to my own backyard, where I discovered that all over Long Island, there was great music being played from the heart by musicians and bands who were playing and writing simply for the love of it.

The Slant used to rehearse in Tom (the keyboard player's) apartment in Bellerose. And as it happened, two of his neighbors were a female couple who rented the apartment next door, Pina and Rose. One day, they mentioned the music, and Tom apologized for disturbing them. They explained that they liked it, however, and went on to tell him that they were in the process of opening a small New Orleans-style coffee house/restaurant in Floral Park, The Crescent City Cafe. They then asked if his band would like to play there. A few weeks later, the place opened, and The Slant became one of the regular weekend acts. Soon, our friend (and a former Slant member) Chris Peters began playing there regularly as well, and we noticed that there was a regular rotation that developed on the weekends, which mostly consisted of Chris, The Slant, a female duo called Crystal Rose, and a Huntington-based musician (who played as a 3-piece) named Kenn Morr. It was a nice little scene. The place wasn't making any money, but Pina and Rose would always make sure to at least feed the band, and the food was first-rate.

Before long, we had made friends with Kenn and his band as well as with Crystal Rose. (An early version of Dave Isaacs' band Jackalope Junction and Frank Walker played there also, but they were mostly Sunday brunches and weekday nights, so we didn't get to know them until a couple of years later.) Eventually, we started attending Kenn and Crystal Rose's gigs outside of Crescent City (often at bookstores, which were a popular place for acoustic acts to play at that time.)

Crescent City didn't last all that long. Could have been a year and a half, could have even been less. And by the end of the decade, Kenn and his wife moved away from Long Island to somewhere in Connecticut. But occasionally, he'd come back and play somewhere, and I'd see him when I could.

Of course, once Denise and I adopted our kids, I stopped going out to local music shows and spent most of the last decade concentrating on being a Dad. However, I've always kept track of Kenn over the years, and whenever he's put out a new album, I've picked it up. I hadn't seen him live in 10 to 15 years though.

Now that I've been getting out now and again for music, though, I've noticed that Kenn usually comes back and plays Long Island once or twice a year. The last couple of times were Friday night gigs at some art gallery in Huntington. I've had every intention of going, but Huntington is kind of a pain in the ass for me to get to, and over the last few years, however sincerely I've planned to go to a Friday night show, when Friday comes along, I'm usually too tired and listless to go out.

This past week, though, I received an e-mail saying that The Kenn Morr Band was playing a Sunday afternoon show at the Northport Library. Honestly, from Patchogue, Northport is almost as big a pain as Huntington (although it's significantly less crowded.) But Sunday afternoons work a little better for me than Friday nights, so I made a plan to go.

I wasn't 100% sure I was going to make it. I had an early-morning staff meeting for my job in Little Neck on Saturday, and those meetings tend to knock me out for the rest of the day. I think it's the diabetes. (I recently got this new-fangled sensor thing up and working. I've been taking regular readings over the last few days, and frankly, my blood sugar count is a horror show.) I had no stamina all day long. But by Sunday, I had recovered, it was a beautiful day, and I was up for some music.

I found the library with little problem, and made my way down to a nice (if somewhat dimly lit room) in the basement. It had a full stage (which was fully lit, thankfully). I grabbed a seat as a few other patrons trickled in. Before long, Kenn and his band appeared. (Their instruments were already set up). We said a quick hello. He didn't recognize me right away (which wasn't surprising, given how long it's been), but as soon as I said "Rich", it clicked. We joked about how we hadn't aged a bit. (And truthfully, except for just a little bit of salt and pepper coloring in his hair, he really hasn't.)

After about ten minutes, at 2PM, Kenn and his band started a 14-song set that ran about an hour and twenty minutes. And although most of the crowd wasn't previously familiar with him (as he'd never played this library before), I think he went over really well.

For those not familiar, Kenn Morr plays a laid back brand of folksy-Americana. If I had to compare him to someone, James Taylor would be a good place to start (although during the show, he mentioned that Gordon Lightfoot was his hero, and I can see the influence there as well.) His deep voice has just a little gravel to it. His music is mostly positive -- it's not that he doesn't sing about the difficulties of life, but there's a gentle feel to the songs, and a feeling that even in the lowest of times, it's possible to make it through somehow.

The band played this show as a three-piece, with some nice three-part vocal harmonies throughout. Kenn sang the lead and played guitar, Tom Hagymasi played a variety of instruments (including mandolin, violin, accordion and Irish Bazouki), and Pat Ryan played bass.

Throughout the afternoon, Kenn told interesting stories, about his memories of Long Island, his new home (in the middle of nowhere), his former and current dogs, and the bear who comes out of the woods every year to rip the door off of his shed. He even told a story about how a slow Southern pancake waitress might have saved his life. (I think that's all I'm going to tell you about that one.)

Over the years, he has released eight albums, and for this show, he played selections from most of them. A couple of my favorites were "My Friend", a tribute to his now-deceased dog Lightfoot, which really captures the flavor of the relationship between man and man's best friend; and "Anna Lee", a song he wrote after a German critic complained that his music should have more "blood, sweat, toil and booze" in it.

It was a treat to catch Kenn and his band again after so many years. These days, he has a number of videos up on YouTube, and of course he also has a website at I don't know when he'll be back on Long Island again, but he plays New England regularly, and he has a museum date scheduled in The Bronx on May 3. I'd highly recommend you check him out.

Cool Album of the Day

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#964 in the Series) is The Kenn Morr Band “Along the Way.”

The Cool Album of the Day site went dormant for way too long.  At times life interferes with life. One thing I’ve missed is finding cool little surprises in my mailbox. Yet once in a while I would still find a nice bubble wrapped package separating bills, coupon packets and info from the latest candidate that promises to make my life better.

However, every so often I’d still get one of those care packages. Every so often the content in said package is also a darn good listen. Can you believe that not every gift isn’t always good. Tru dat. The best ‘get’ that I ‘got’ in a long time was by The Kenn Morr Band.

One thing I always always do before I put finger to plastic when writing a new music review piece is to make sure that I’ve given it numerous listenings.  I feel that you can’t be truly fair to an artist’s work on one visit. Put it this way from my Italian heritage perspective. An album is like a batch of home made pasta. It tastes better the next day after all the ‘gredients have blended. That doesn’t mean that you can’t draw something from the first listen though. Did anything jump out at you? Were you moved at all? Does it need salt or maybe more Parmesan?

One thing did jump out at me when I first listened to Along the Way. That was “If Roger Waters was to record an Americana album, this is what it would sound like.” I consider that a compliment. This album deserves passion buckets of compliments. It’s that good.

I find Kenn’s voice similar to Waters voice when Roger gives us the softer tunes. I find it very soothing and fits the music perfectly. Great vocalists sing what’s appropriate to the song. The music, which is driven by mainly acoustic instruments has a nice breezy feel to it. “Out of the Fast Lane and Let it Go” indeed. It’s weird to think that this came from a Connecticut based band. I wonder if they recorded it while being snowed in during another much too frequent ‘Nor’easter?’

This is music that will make you want to be at the beach. No, let me change that. I’m thinking more the evening, around a fire pit, sharing it with good friends. Maybe even while making smores with Roger Waters.

– Larry Carta

Republican American


Morr balance, better music


Kenn Morr has crafted his life as carefully as he crafts his music.

The singer/songwriter, who has just released his 10th CD, “Along the Way,” has deftly balanced a career in music while holding tight to that most precious of commodities — his family life.

Morr reveals that in college, when he began his career as a musician, his goal was to become “bigger and bigger.” But marriage and fatherhood changed his perspective.

“Being dad comes first,” he said while sitting at his dining room table and awaiting the return of his younger son, James, at the end of the school day. “That’s why we tour largely in the Northeast — most nights we come home. If I (traveled further), I would miss these years.”

Morr’s studio is in his Colebrook home, a residence he and his wife decided upon in anticipation of the arrival of their first son, Nolan, now 16.

“It’s worked well to be able to work within a stone’s throw of my sons,” he said.

The fact he has limited the current scope of his career — despite his love for making music — says volumes about his dedication to his family.

“My musical career started after I stopped playing baseball after high school,” he said. “I found myself asking, what do I do now? I was in college, doing the responsible thing, but a voice kept saying that I always wanted to be a songwriter. Then I got a guitar for Christmas and it was life-altering.”

Like many artists, he had “a day job to fund my habit,” but he had found his true calling.

Now, at that vulnerable point when his children are teens, Morr’s latest album deals with “the feeling of time passing.”

“One reviewer said the album has a ‘bittersweet’ feel,” Morr said. “It’s about love, loss, life’s theme — my deepest and darkest thoughts put to happy music.”

Though the CD, released in the U.S. on Sept. 15, already has gained strong reviews in Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany, he said bad reviews would not have discouraged him.

“I feel there is little anyone can say that would hurt me,” he said. “I just get more and more comfortable with our band’s style, and this last CD was so comfortable to make. All the songs came to me within a year’s span and so effortlessly. If people don’t like it, they just don’t get it.”

His band is composed of Tom Hagmasi, Patrick Ryan and Bob Gaspar, who play a variety of instruments and provide vocal harmony, while Morr, with his slightly smoky baritone, is lead vocalist.

The songs, which include titles such as “Out of the Fast Lane,” “Footprints to the Sea” and “Along the Way,” all were recorded with the musicians playing together in one room, rather than contributing tracks from different studios, which is often the norm these days.

“There is no replacing that energy in a room,” Morr said. “The whole time I listened to the CD, I was smiling.”

To learn more or to order the CD, visit

Folk Words - U.K.

“Along The Way” The Kenn Morr Band - Let the music Wind You Down

By Tom Franks - Folk Word – United Kingdom

Among its many vagaries life offers some certainties – they include the flow of memorable melodies and deeply-thought themes that permeate Kenn Morr’s mix of folk rock Americana. The latest album from The Kenn Morr Band, ‘Along The Way’ serves up a selection of laid-back warmth, involving softly embracing songs and pin-sharp observational lyrics. The instrumentation is as strong as ever, and like a few lucky artists (and good whiskey) Kenn Morr’s voice just gets better with age and the songs on ‘Along The Way’ are ample evidence of that – this is an album for those all too soon approaching winter nights, sit back relax and let the music wind you down….

It’s hard to pick ‘highlights’ because this is such a ‘complete’ album, not a single ‘filler’ in sight, every song in its right place and complementing each other start to finish. However, if pushed I’d mark out my favourites as: ‘Out Of The Fast Lane’, Along The Way’, ‘Blow Wind’, ‘Anywhere Will Be Your Home’, ‘Mr Wolfe’ and ‘Run Away’. Yes, there really are that many stand-out tracks.

The Kenn Morr Band on ‘Along The Way’ are of course the usual suspects, Kenn Morr (electric guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals) Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion, dulcimer, harmony vocals) Pat Ryan (bass guitar, harmony vocals) and Bob Gaspar (djembe, percussion).

Rock Times - Germany

“Along the Way” Album Review – Rock Times, Germany

Kenn Morr has been a frequent featured artist in our magazine. His new album “Along the Way” is his fifth album in the last nine years and follows previous releases “Worth Imagining” and “Afterimage” that were also reviewed by Rock Times Magazine. The American artist who lives in Connecticut produces and releases independently and features a band of Bob Gaspar (djembe, percussion) and Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, dulcimer) who have been members of the band for quite some time. Only the position of bassist has changed in recent years however Pat Ryan, the newest member of the band, has established himself for many years.

 Morr’s music is in the style of folk and Americana and it presents in a laid-back form and style. “Along the Way” begins beautifully with the relaxed “Out of the Fast Lane” featuring gentle accompaniment of bass, percussion and various stringed instruments. Where some of the older disks were not directly accessible these ten new songs immediately spread a cheerful, warm and earthy atmosphere. The voice and singing of the bandleader’s range is somewhat limited but radiates through depth and is very much at peace with the tone of the record. In other words one will happily listen to the man from the northeast.

 Even the melodies this time are more skillful and bound to capture the ears of the interested music fan. Songs such as “Footprints to the Sea” provide a cool, natural foot-tapping swing which is immediately followed by the more thoughtful title song featuring strong background vocals from the start and roots-driven instrumentation and is my favorite song of the collection.  

The thoughtful ballad “Anywhere Will Be Your Home” presents with fine mandolin accompaniment, djembe and Morr’s gentle harmonica. The album’s songs are characterized by their melancholy characteristics but are always positively optimistic. “Run Away” is  upbeat while “Mr. Wolfe” bring a strong rootsy quality featuring the bouzouki. After starting quietly “Let it Go” shifts into high gear while “High Rollers” is quite pleasing to the ears. “Blow Wind” is a favorite for its loose, casual approach featuring cool instrumentation, sturdy refrain and arrangement. The bouncing “Try Me Tomorrow” forms a great melodic conclusion to a strong album.  

Thanks to the quality of the songs, The Kenn Morr Band has delivered great work with “Along the Way”. The inclined music fan who can identify with Morr’s voice and has a penchant for cool, relaxing roots music will be very happy with this album. Great job guys!

Roots Time

“Along the Way” Album Review – Rootstime, Belgium

 The Kenn Morr Band is a folk rock quartet from Colebrook, CT, consisting of singer-songwriter Kenn Morr (guitar, piano, harmonica), Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, bouzouki, dulcimer and accordion), Patrick Ryan (bass guitar) and Bob Gaspar (djembe and percussion). In 2008 Rootstime became aquainted with the bandleader Kenn Morr through his solo album “Move On”.

 Subsequent to “Move On” we have reviewed three of Kenn’s albums appearing under the group name “The Kenn Morr Band”: “Higher Ground”, 2010, “Worth Imagining”, 2012 and “Afterimage”, 2014. Recently we discovered the band’s brand new album “Along the Way” in our mailbox with a request for a review. We were happy to oblige.

 The inspiration for the songs that Kenn Morr writes is influenced by still-active legendary songwriters including Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. The subject matter of his songs stems from everyday life and observations that surely relate to his listening audience.

 The comparison we made in our previous reviews of KennMorr and songwriter Elliot Murphy certainly still applies to the ten songs on “Along the Way.”  The opening track “Out of the Fast Lane” followed by “High Rollers” and “Footprints to the Sea” are as strong as Elliot Murphy’s songs. Kenn Morr, with his ever-soft and warm voice, should consider this comparison a great compliment as we are unconditional fans of such narrative songs.

 Selecting other highlights from this album is an impossible task because there are no weaknesses on the CD. “Blow Wind”, “Let it Go”, “Anywhere Will Be Your Home”, “Mr. Wolfe”, “Run Away” and “Try Me Tomorrow” are of equally strong songs.

 As if by chance when I received the new album “Along the Way” I was wearing a black Kenn Morr Band T-shirt (with white print) that Kenn sent me in 2008 with his album “Move On”. Almost ten years later, the quality of that T-shirt remains in perfect condition and it is pleasing that so many years later the quality of his songs has endured and even increased. It is a pleasure to hear these ten songs on “Along the Way” resounding in my living room so I am going to push the CD player’s replay button quickly. 

Folk World - Germany

Folk World Review by David Hintz 

The latest Kenn Morr Band album has a fine, gentle approach to folk music. The rhythm section lays down a light and steady foundation with just a quiet rock beat for the instrumentation to work off of.  

Kenn Morr handles the guitar and lead vocals with a bit of piano as well. And with just one additional member, Tom Hagymasi, we get violin, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion, and dulcimer. So there is no shortage of sound variations, even if the pace and overall sound is so relaxed.  

It is a successful approach as the songs are most inviting and are a pleasure to take in.

© David Hintz (Washington DC)

Republican American


Singer/songwriter Kenn Morr draws his inspiration from Colebrook.

"I put together an album of 28 fan favorites," he said. "When I counted them, more than half had been written in Colebrook."

While he calls Colebrook his hometown, the native of Long Island, N.Y., and his family actually moved here in 2000.

"When my wife and I were expecting our first baby in 1999, we reassessed our lives and decided we wanted to live somewhere else," he recalled. "At first, we chose a town in the Sierra Nevadas and we said, 'This is the way we want to live.'"

Indeed it was, but with the birth of their son, they decided to move back to be closer to family and friends. When they discovered Colebrook, "we decided to roll the dice and moved here."

Naming their new home Sheep Ranch East to commemorate their Western locale, they soon found that Colebrook fit them like an old shoe.

"Every day we thank God for the decision to move here," Morr said. "When I get home at night after a show in New York or Boston and I get out of the car, I can hear the brook and feel the wind. And as much as we love our home, the people have been even better than the place."

So it is with great pleasure that he looks forward to the July 30 concert he and his band will present at Colebrook's ball field on Cooper Lane.

"It will be fun performing the songs in the town in which they were born," he said.

The event is sponsored by the National Iron Bank, and those attending are urged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets.

Morr last performed in Colebrook more than seven years ago. He said he is particularly appreciative of communities that hire bands who play original music.

"Most places want familiar music from the '50s, '60s or '70s, so I am very grateful to towns that keep having us back," he said.

The Morrs have had a second son since moving to Colebrook. Their father says Nolan and James inherited his baseball gene, but not his musical choices.

"We have guitars all over the house, but both do something I could never do — play the drums — which is great for me, because we can jam together," Morr said.

The Colebrook concert is slated to begin at 6 p.m.

The Berlin Citizen

Folk band to play songs of life at free concert

By Charles Kreutzkamp The Berlin Citizen

An internationally famous band is coming to the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library. The Kenn Morr band will bring their acoustic, folk, rock, and Americana stylings to an outdoor concert Monday, Aug. 10, at 6:30 p.m. with the concert to be moved indoors in the event of inclement weather.

“This man writes songs with deep content,” wrote a reviewer for Folk Words in the United Kingdom, as quoted on “Songs of force, Songs that stick with you. His richly toned voice hovers across a laid back relaxed delivery that makes you listen to lyrics that reflect life’s experiences in a way we can all share.”

Morr told The Citizen that, as the youngest of seven, he grew up listening to his older brothers and sisters’ vinyl records, “anything from Simon and Garfunkel to Crosby, Stills, and Nash, to Bob Dylan, to Cat Stevens… that was the music that attracted me and… inspired what I write now.”

The Berlin-Peck library is a new venue for the band, one Morr is looking forward to visiting. “We’ve done a bunch of library shows in the last year or so,” he said. The performer enjoys the more quiet and intimate setting where people come just for the music. It’s a whole different animal from playing at a nightclub or bar where the music has to compete with “dinner and alcohol and pool tables, dart boards and all that stuff,” Morr said.

The concert is free and promotes songs from the latest Kenn Morr album, “After Image,” which features 28 of the band’s most popular songs, some transformed with acoustic renderings. “We sat in a circle in the studio and did all these songs live, together, facing each other,” Morr said. The concert will feature 10 to 12 songs for an hour-long performance.

One song sure to be featured, Morr said, is “My Friend,” a song Morr wrote while mourning the death of his golden retriever in 2010. “I was really sad when I wrote the song, but it’s one of my favorites to sing,” Morr said, and one of the band’s most popular tracks. “People often come up to me after the show and say that they lost a dog,” and were touched by the song, he said.

Morr often transforms personal pain into beautiful music. Not long after writing “My Friend,” his mother and a best friend also died. Out of this immensely difficult time came the song “Trade Winds,” that likely will be featured at the concert. He said this song came out of “this fantasy I had of jumping on a sailing ship and just taking off for a while,” he said.

“The Kenn Morr Band came highly recommended by two other public libraries in the state,” said Carrie Tyszka, head of Adult Services. “Since we’ve had such great response to previous musical performances from the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, I thought it would be fun to offer a different type of music. I hope to start offering musical programs on a more regular basis.”

The Berlin-Peck show will be a “three piece act,” as the band’s fiddle player will be out of town.

“It’s going to be a fun one,” Morr said.

For more information about the band and to listen to some of their music visit

Roots Time - Belgium

The Kenn Morr Band - Afterimage

I vividly remember the correspondence that I had in 2008 with the American singer-songwriter Kenn Morr from Colebrook, Connecticut following a very favorable review I wrote for 'Roots Time' about his former album "Move On". He thanked me and immediately sent five CDs of the same title to distribute among our readers. Moreover, the English translation of that review is still prominently on his website, despite the subsequent appearance of several new records by him or of 'The Kenn Morr Band.

Under the band name came two CDs. "Higher Ground" in 2010 and in 2012 "Worth Imagining". Now Morr has released a double album "Afterimage" containing 28 songs that Kenn Morr solo or his band have released in the past. A kind of 'Best Of'.  

Besides singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter Kenn Morr, the band consists of Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, bouzouki and accordion), Bob Gaspar (djembe, congas and percussion) and Pat Ryan (bass guitar). The older songs are all new here. Fresh interpretations recorded live in the studio with acoustic instruments.

What strikes us after listening to the two CDs is the huge arsenal of great songs that Kenn Morr has strung together in his music career. It makes him one of the best singer-songwriters in the contemporary music scene. The inspiration for his songs is taken from events of everyday life around him and the great love of his wife Jackie and his two sons James and Nolan. Therefore there is very much soul and belief in the poetic lyrics in all these songs that he has written. 

An anthology of what we believe are the best songs on this double album reads as follows: "Cold Winds", "A Little Time" (see video), "Anna Lee", "Wooden Room", "Higher Ground ", the upbeat songs "Spinning Wheel" and "Baby It's Me", the guitar ballad " ave It That Way, "River Song", "Move On", "High Wire", "Coming Home" and "What Is It Like?" They are all laid back songs that may resonate at any time of the day on my home stereo.

Finally, we must once again point out that we can not escape the impression that the voice, the songs and the singing style of Kenn Morr very closely resemble those of Elliott Murphy. But let this is a positive determination since we are a longtime fan of both top musicians.

Folk Words - U.K.

The Kenn Morr Band - Afterimage

Since the day I heard ‘New Moon Rising’, I’ve been a fan of Kenn Morr’s melody-rich music. This man writes songs with deep content. Songs of force, Songs that stick with you. His richly toned voice hovers across a laid back relaxed delivery that makes you listen to lyrics that reflect life’s experiences in a way we can all share. His latest album ‘Afterimage’, is a double-CD that looks back across a career of eight previous albums and includes some of his most-loved and well-remembered songs. It’s kind of a ‘best of’ but without the unnecessary hype. And if Kenn Morr’s work touches you then this is just what you need.

The genesis of ‘Afterimage’ grew out of a ‘disaster’ that wiped, never-to-be-recovered, an entire album's worth of new material stored on an Apple phone. Despite the catastrophe, Morr decided to use the set back to execute a handbrake turn, change direction and record an album of favorite songs. Morr and bandmates Pat Ryan, Bob Gaspar and Tom Hagymasi went over his eight previous albums, meandering back to the mid-'90s and chose material to record live. The principle was simple, sit down, switch mics on and go for it.

This reflective ‘best of the best’ gives all you would expect from ‘Lazy Afternoon’, ‘Anna Lee’ and Trade Winds’ through ‘Bad Days’ and ‘Lost Tales’ to ‘Move On, ‘High Wire’ and 'Let’s Take Tonight’. That's a personal view, of course, your ‘best of list’ will doubtless be different than mine. Whatever it takes, this is an album that Morr fans will soak up.

The Kenn Morr Band are Bob Gaspar (drums, percussion) Tom Hagymasi (mandolin, violin, bouzouki, accordion) Pat Ryan (bass guitar, backing vocals).

Folk World - Germany

Folk World, Germany – 

The Kenn Morr Band - Afterimage 

There are 28 songs on this two CD collection featuring Kenn Morr’s music and a tight little band he has assembled. The rhythm section is augmented with violin, mandolin and Morr’s guitar and keyboards. The musicians are pictured in a circle, which is just how they made this music—playing live in the studio. I don’t always have a preference on how this is done, but in this case, I think the listener is served well by their approach. This has a small folk club feel to it with straightforward vocals and thoughtful instrumentation where the band is locked in and having a good time. The songs have a gentle warmth to them as they run through a range of emotions, telling a number of stories. I particularly enjoyed ‘Twister’ with the slightest hint of rock music within. But this is folk and light folk-rock for the most part and is a welcome listen in this household a it will be to all folk fans.
© David Hintz

Ctl Alt Country - Holland

The Kenn Morr Band - Afterimage

I must confess that until recently I was not very familiar with the work of the American Kenn Morr and his band. To my great surprise, I listened to the man's new album "Afterimage". This album was a serious undertaking of acoustic interpretations of selected songs from Morr’s eight previous releases. 

Morr (vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar and piano) and his mates Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, bouzouki, button accordion and harmony vocals), Bob Gaspar (djembe , congas and percussion) and Pat Ryan (bass guitar and harmony vocals ) created special, friendly moments in the studio that come across on these discs. The album was recorded "the old fashioned way" with everyone together in one room. Good live music making! Morr and company take you through 28 songs on a lovely, relaxed glide. Many of the songs contain quite profound lyrics. Comfortable listening made catchy by Morr’s sonorous singing which sounds like a cross between Elliott Murphy, Leonard Cohen and Bob Geldof.  

Call it folk rock, pop and Americana roots. Call it what you like! The fact is that we are dealing with a particularly pleasant pot of acoustic roots music. Recommended not only to lovers of Murphy, Cohen and Geldof, but also to those who enjoy Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Mark Knopfler.

Real Roots Cafe' - Amsterdam

The Kenn Morr Band's Afterimage

Kenn Morr had to turn to Plan B after the computer containing essential material for his new album crashed (which is always nasty ...) He had already been thinking about recording an album of favorite songs. So he believed this would be a good opportunity to capture the magic of his current band playing together in the studio. As seen in the picture accompanying the two discs, they sit in a circle: Kenn Morr, multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi, bassist Pat Ryan and Bob Gaspar who is leaning casually on his djembe. Twenty-eight(!)songs. A generous selection from Morr’s eight previous albums recorded live and acoustic and above all, professionally.

Kenn is from Long Island, where he first pursued a career in baseball. He eventually found his home in Connecticut and in folk rock music! We hear the nfluences of the big names who inspired him: Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison , Paul Simon, as well as the New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Marshall Tucker Band.

As far as I can see, the two discs held a random order. I do get the feeling, that above all the more upbeat mid-tempo songs were chosen. Kenn sounds warm and relaxed (he reminds me occasionally of Terry Lee Hale, Chip Taylor and especially Elliott Murphy.) Tom and Pat are close to stunning Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young -like vocals and/or a second voice. All instruments are beautifully played with great skill - I especially love the accordion, harmonica and Bob's catchy drumming.  

The lyrics are more or less music set to poems. "All you see these days are gray skies/ All you're hearing are the blue lies" (from "Move On".) 

Well, I miss (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) some personal favorites: "Girl With The Auburn Hair", "Gone" and "Lighthouse". Kenn hopes that we will have so much fun listening as he and his band had playing - that works! (PWR Records)

The Bloomfield Journal

Junior's Cave Online Magazine

Singer/Songwriter Kenn Morr spoke to our Indie publication recently about his amazing journey to allow others to discover the magic of his music. The truth of the matter is that Kenn Morr is a musical hero of this publication who is making fantastic and honest music on his own terms. This is why we were elated to feature him in our weekly spotlight. 

Isaac: Thank you for being a part of our weekly music interview spotlights. Let’s get started. The Indie Music Industry is an amazing beast. Many music critics have stated that Indie Music is on the rise with many new performers being discovered each day. Do you believe that indie music artists can rise to the level of stardom that their major music studio counterparts are able to now? 

Kenn: Anything’s possible and there are examples of successful indie artists but for the most-part I’d have to say that’s a long-shot. The key difference between indie artists and major labels artists is money. Major labels have the budget to help their artists rise while indie artists have to build AND drive their own machine. That’s the bad news. The good news is thanks to the Internet and digital technology indie artists at least have a fighter’s chance and can take steps to at least be in the game. We also have complete control over our own music and distributors like CD Baby make it possible to have our work available to the world. Before the advent of the Internet and digital distribution an indie artist was essentially in “nowhere land” if they didn’t sign a record deal. So that’s a very positive change. 

Isaac: What do you feel has been your biggest contribution you have made to Indie Music Industry thus far in your career? 

Kenn: Making honest records. When I recorded the album “New Moon Rising” in 2003 with (legendary producer) Bob Johnston he stressed the importance of the album coming out the way I wanted. He would frequently talk about how, especially in today’s musical climate, too many records are made in the image of the record labels and their producers and in the process the artists (and their original visions) are essentially washed out of the project. Recording as an indie artist allows us to make records that sound the way WE want them to sound which is essentially what art and music are all about. The artist’s vision. Not the vision of the guy in a suit on the 27th floor…

Isaac: I am interested to know if you could go back and change anything about your own musical career, what would it be and why? 

Kenn: That’s a great question. The truth is (for good or bad) I have always stayed true to what I set out to do. If maybe I had been more flexible my level of success could have been greater but then I would have compromised my music so that “success” would not have been in the form that made me comfortable. It wouldn’t have felt right. It would almost be like working at a job you don’t enjoy. 


In the late 90’s I had a deal with a small label. They immediately began to produce my music the way they heard it. I’d come home from the recording sessions and try to talk myself into being excited about the way the record was coming out but deep-down I knew the music that was coming through the studio monitors really wasn’t what I wanted. In fact, I was out in Seattle and played it for my brother and he said “this doesn’t even sound like you…” I was able to get out from under that deal and subsequently worked with Bob Johnston. And once you work with Bob you learn the only way to make a record is the way YOU want to make a record. Because once you say “yes” or compromise your true vision the slippery slope only gets more slippery…

Isaac: I am curious to know do you feel that the music industry as a whole is surrounded by an endless pool of undiscovered talents or overcrowded with mediocre performers. 

Kenn: First of all, who am I to say? People’s taste in music is so subjective. Music that strikes me as “mediocre” may be deemed BRILLIANT by someone else. What I will say is the road is definitely over-crowded which makes it a lot more difficult for solid artists to be heard. However, if given the choice between today’s climate (where an indie artist actually has a shot…even on a crowded road) versus the days of label-artists-only I’d DEFINITELY take the way things are today. Having said that, it is undeniable much of the music we hear on the radio today is cookie-cutter/processed music. It seems the major labels come up with a “formula” and most records are made according to that formula. It’s a lame approach to creating art and it also makes it difficult for “original” artists to break through. 

I was in a studio in New York City and a producer was playing the day’s hit on one set of monitors. While he was listening to the single he was programming a similar drum beat/feel into a drum machine so he could essentially take the ingredients of the hit single and begin writing the next hit. It was like being in a factory or on an assembly line. It kind of summed up the whole industry. 


Isaac: Are you currently signed with any of the Indie Music Labels? If not, what are you looking for in any music label that you hope will complement your music? 

Kenn: I am not signed to a label. I would love to be if the fit was right. If a label hears my music and wants me to sign, I would definitely consider it. But, it would have to be with the understanding the music stays true to itself. If we could agree on that, then I’d be all-in. Otherwise, I’ll take my chances on my own. At the very least I’ll be making music the way I hear and feel it. That’s really what it’s all about. 

Isaac: What do you feel has been one of the biggest challenges for you to bring your music to the masses? 

Kenn: Money. Having an advertising/promotional budget is key. Many times we’ve completed a record and then found ourselves with little or no budget to hire press/radio promotion etc. Which means we have to sometimes work in that capacity and frankly, I’m a songwriter and performer. Not a promoter. So that makes it a bit difficult. When you have the budget to help promote and shop the CD and get it in front of the right people the gears turn a lot more effectively and quickly. 

Isaac: One of the best attributes for any performer to possess is tenacity. What is your professional and/or personal drive that has made you continue to make great music over the years? 

Kenn: It sounds corny but my love of the music is the driving force. Also, there is (literally) nothing else I’d rather be doing. Believe me, the music industry is VERY difficult and if one day I woke up and said to myself “I want to be a farmer (or any other occupation)” I would do it just to get out from under the struggle of the music industry. But the truth is despite the tough industry there’s something deep inside me that keeps driving me to move ahead. I didn’t start out doing this thinking about money or careers or anything like that. I just wanted to sing and play the guitar. But then I began writing and once that started there was no stopping it. And then to actually get PAID to sing your own songs? Forget it. That’s when I fell hook, line and sinker and haven’t looked back. 

I have two young sons and I know they are watching me closely. That’s a driving force as well. I want them to grow up and pursue paths they want to pursue especially if they have a true passion for something. I want them to believe in themselves and to work hard at what they love and then…come what may. No regrets…

Isaac: How has living in your current city affected the way you look at the music industry? 

Kenn: We moved from Long Island, NY to the northwest country in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains (here in Connecticut.) From an artistic standpoint, it was a brilliant move. We live in a small town, across from a river and surrounded by mountains and nature. We’ve seen more black bear on our property than squirrels. So from an artistic standpoint I couldn’t ask for more. It’s like living in the middle of a beautiful painting so many of my songs have imagery that I didn’t even have to conjure up. I just have to look out the window. We are almost equal distance between Boston and New York City. About two hours drive to both. Truth be told the Internet has created a (positive) climate in that it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you can maintain an online presence and get to your gigs. 

Isaac: We would love to see a music video from you! Do you currently have one that you can let our readers know about? 

Kenn: We have several videos posted on Youtube and on our site but I do have a favorite. On our new album “Worth Imagining” there is a song called “My Friend.” It was written after our 14 year old Golden Retriever Lightfoot passed on. The song was written to help get through the loss. It ended up on our record and we decided to ask our friends and fans for photos of their dogs for the video. We had a blast making the video and enjoyed involving others in the process. You can view it on our website on the “Video” page at 

Isaac: At the end of the day, if you never reached musically to a certain level of fame and fortune, would you be happy that you made music on your own terms? 

Kenn: Yes. That’s an easy one. The reason I say that is because I didn’t really have a choice in any of this. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was about 19 years old. And once I started playing (and then writing) it was like a run-away train. I couldn’t get off. Again, writing, playing, recording and performing is something that seems to have chosen me more than the other way around. When I set out to do this I never dreamed there would be people overseas listening to my songs. So that in and of itself is a level of success that I’m proud of. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to make a few more dollars (laughs…) And hopefully that’s still in the cards. But regardless, the music will keep coming and we’ll see where it takes us…

Isaac: For those who want to learn more about you and your music, where can fans find you online? 

Visit the website, sign the mailing list and get a free Mp3. Once you are on the mailing list you will get periodical emails about certain gigs or new videos or other cool stuff. And I promise you we don’t bombard you with too many emails. I don’t like being on the receiving end of constant emails so we’re real careful to send out just enough emails to keep everybody posted but never too many. 

Isaac: Finish this sentence for us: “Your music is something that will…”

Kenn: (Hopefully) my music is something that will make the listener feel better than they did before they listened to it. That’s the goal. For people to cue up one of the CDs and simply get (peacefully) lost or taken away for a little while…

Rootstime - Holland

On an attached flyer is the following question: what does Kenn Morr have in common with Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Cliff, Carl Perkins & Willie Nelson? Would you have any idea? Well, here's the answer: their records were all ever produced by the legendary Bob Johnston buttons specialist. Disappointed by this answer? That does not really cause Bob Johnston has the best extracted from Kenn Morr and bundled on his album "New Moon Rising" from 2004. The originality of his songwriting talent, the melodious smooth reclining music and his musical, maniacal urge to sit in the audience to perfection contained in this work. That album marked the breakthrough for the Connecticut resident. Kenn Morr followed with an album entitled "Coming Home" released in 2006 and now we have latest CD "Move On".  This time he has produced the album himself and created a fuller sound by adding instruments including piano, mandolin, violin, lap steel, harmonica and percussion subtly present. For three of the numbers sought and received strong vocal support: Rex Fowler sings on the song "Do not Turn Around" and the unique voice of Annie Golden sits proudly on "Still Need You Near" (an absolute highlight on this album ) and "Girl With The Auburn Hair". That little lady will be in our memories forever thanks to the song "Tell Me Your Plans" she inzong the charts with The shirts in 1978, 30 years ago. That gave her as a star role in the musical and the movie "Hair". But we were talking mainly about Kenn Morr and his new CD "Move On". However, this work contains 12 self-written good songs, each of which briefly with a catchy voice. A passionate singer Most of these songs you can hum along smoothly after a few listenings. The songs have an intimate character and consist of honest and personal life inspired lyrics. The title track "Move On" is a musical letter to a friend with the council to forget the sad past and look optimistically to the future. This subject is addressed in the song "Do not Turn Around". The song "Blue Morn" is an autobiographical story about how Kenn Morr personally experienced the events of 9/11. He was very close to Ground Zero and this song describes how his exit from New York and what his feelings were at this horrific event. The musical journey through this CD also has several paths. So get hints of reggae ("Get Back"), rock ("Let's Take Tonight"), country ("River Song") and Celtic influences discussed and Kenn Morr shows us that he is an artist of many talents, and in all those different Styles manages to maintain. effortlessly "Move On" is a very nice and pleasant picture of a man whose voice always reminds me of Elliott Murphy in his ballads. And that's already a big sir, is not it? Kenn Morr sings the last song on this CD entitled "Everything Will Be Fine". We are persuaded to agree with him...


This Connecticut-based band offers up some New England warmth and a few cuddly canines.

The Kenn Morr Band’s sixth album, Worth Imagining brings a variety of instruments together to create a warm, soulful sound. Accordion, violin, harmonica, and mandolin flirt with guitar, piano, bass, and percussion. Morr’s deep, succulent voice (often accompanied by backing vocals) calls to mind folksingers like Richard Thomspon and John Prine. On the record, Morr spins ten poignant yarns about love, friendship, and loss. Despite its contemplative nature, Worth Imagining is earnest and uplifting. It may make you want to take a long drive into the sunset. 
The ninth song on Worth Imagining is and ode to man’s best friend. The video features lots of cute dog photos and Morr playing guitar barefoot by a wood-burning stove., Amsterdam

As the songwriter and singer for the Kenn Morr Band, Kenn Morr makes a large contribution to this album. But boy, what a band he has surrounded himself with. Fantastic. Not only are these virtuoso musicians, they play extremely well together including incredibly beautiful and surprising vocal harmonies.

Multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi plays accordion, mandolin, bouzouki and more, Bob Gaspar is a drummer and percussionist on an arsenal of percussion instruments and Dan Hocott plays bass. Morr plays guitars (acoustic and electric) piano, keyboard and harmonica. Morr’s voice is not particularly strong but he knows how to make optimal use of it. And the special polyphonic singing the band creates produces a totally unique sound which is a pleasant surprise.


The magnificent arrangements of these excellent songs are beautiful. After a few spins you still hear new details. Surprisingly good.

Chords & Keys, Belgium

'Worth Imagining' by The Kenn Morr Band is one of the purest folk records in a long time...

Folk World, Germany

The Kenn Morr Band - Worth Imagining

There is a gentle approach to this homespun full-band folk music. Every sound has a careful touch as if they were handling egg baskets. This makes for music you can drift off with and relax as you absorb it. There are some nice guitar moves, harmonica, and backing vocals that stand out a bit, but the lead vocals are also soft and breathy - perhaps too much. Still, the feelings here are welcome when in the mood. Perhaps they understand this as their last song is entitled "Sunday Morning". This is not much like fellow New Yorker, Lou Reed, but it is good Sunday Morning music. It also works after a long, hard day at work.

Blokner Reviews, Belgrade Serbia

Kenn Morr is a singer/songwriter from Colebrook, Connecticut and a leader of The Kenn Morr band. " Worth Imagining " is his 6th release. The album are consists of 10 equally well-penned tracks, done in americana / folk rock manner, with pleasant vocalization and distinct playings. Kenn Morr's lyrical occupation touches themes of love, loss, relationships, loneliness. Some of reviewers compare this author's legacy with Gordon Lightfoot's method of composing and performing, but I would add that hidden Van Morrison influences exists " here and there" too. But, as a author Mr. Moore knows how to create a fine melody, and his album is full of pleasant places...

Rating : 8 / 10

Winsted Journal

Time Machine Music - Serbia

Kenn Morr is a singer / songwriter and leader of The Kenn Morr. His career has run continuously for several years, and "Worth Imagining" his current CD, is his sixth consecutive album. The CD's 10 tracks realistically reflect the author's aspirations and inner feelings. Morr's lyrics touch on topics such as love, relationships between the sexes, emotional losses. The musical elements of Morr's work is Americana and old school folk-rock. Kenn has coordinated playing technique and a veteran band. I could envision the singer Kenn Morr showing up in your "back yard" and doing quite well. Some reviewers compare his style of composition with that of Gordon Lightfoot. And to a large extent that is true, but I would add that the "hidden" effects of the famous Van Morrison are not negligible. However, Mr. Morr knows how to write a good composition, and to that end, "Worth Imagining" album has plenty.

Countrywood Magazine - Sweden

Kenn Morr's list of influences include Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Graham Nash and especially Gordon Lightfoot. Inspired by these and other artists Morr has written and recorded his own music for many years. Worth Imagining is the baritone singer's sixth full-length album.

Morr moved from his birthplace of Long Island to Connecticut, where he formed his band and his songs are often a mix of self-perceived events and things he sees around him. Musically this singer songwriter is in about the same frame as his influences, and it is more pop and folk than country music. This album is a captivating and beautiful one. Morr's voice is hoarse, close and intimate in style with JJ Cale as it draws the listener close to him, a bit like a magnet. Morr accompanies himself on guitars, piano, keyboards and harmonica while Tom Hagymasi, Bob Gaspar and Dan Hocott round out the band. They play fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki, and accordion which gives the music much of it's sound. In addition are drums, djembe, congas, bongos , bass, vocal harmonies and a many other instruments, many of which are rather unusual and they come from all possible corners.

The ten songs are soft and melodious like the rocks and the undulating beauty of the waves on the album cover, and it's warm tones shapes the music. In addition, the material is fairly even, so to pick out a few favorite songs does not feel meaningful. They are more like chapters in a book.

Countrywood Magazine - Sweden

På Kenn Morrs lista över influenser står Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Graham Nash och framförallt Gordon Lightfoot högst. Med inspiration från dessa och andra artister har Morr skrivit och spelat in sin egen musik i många år, och Worth Imagining är baritonsångarens sjätte fullängdare.

Han har flyttat från uppväxtorten Long Island till Connecticut där han bildade sitt band och hans sånger är ofta en mix av självupplevda händelser och sådant han ser omkring sig. Musikaliskt håller sig denne singersongwriter inom ungefär samma ramar som hans influenser, och det är alltså mer pop och folk än countrymusik The Kenn Morr Band bjussar på. Men det är småtrevlig, medryckande och skön sådan. Morr har en hes, nära och intim stämma i stil med J.J. Cales och den drar lyssnaren intill sig, lite som en magnet. Morr kompar sig sedan själv på gitarrer, piano, keyboard och munspel medan Tom Hagymasi, Bob Gaspar och Dan Hocott utgör bandet och trakterar fiol, mandolin, bouzouki, det dragspel som ger musiken här mycket av sitt sound, trummor, djembe, congas, bongos, bas, stämsång och en hel massa andra instrument, varav många är rätt ovanliga och kommer från jordens alla möjliga hörn.

De tio låtarna är mjuka och melodiösa, de gungar och böljar fram skönt som vågorna på skivomslaget, och det är värmande toner som formar dem. Dessutom är materialet tämligen jämnt, så att plocka ut några favoritlåtar känns inte meningsfullt. De är snarare som kapitel i en och samma bok.   .    

Robert Ryttman

Real Roots Cafe', Holland

Kenn Morr is a singer-songwriter from Colebrook Connecticut (outside of Hartford.) "Worth imagining" is his sixth CD and the second with the great multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi (accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, fiddle, dulcimer, melodica).

Kenn has been in the music field for decades and has been quite productive as "Worth Imagining" is his fifth CD since 2003. In addition to Hagymasi we hear Bob Gaspar on 13 different percussion instruments (including drums) and Dan Hocott on bass. Kenn plays guitars, piano, keyboards and harmonica. For 'Worth imagining' the band provides  relaxed and delicious, mostly acoustic, Americana. Kenn's voice is not strong, but that is true of many singer-songwriters. It's the atmosphere that radiates throughout the CD along with Hagymasi's accordion.  The songs are pleasant to listen to, and the lyrics are somewhat cryptic. Take the song "High & On Empty ', which contains the title of the CD: "So away you go on a warm spring wind. Next time around skip skid row, you've already been. The morning bird's awoken, hear her when she sings. Not a word is spoken, it's worth imagining." Not directly accessible and therefore interesting.

Worth imagining is an enjoyable Americana CD with its own style.

Net Rhytyms, United Kingdom

The Kenn Morr Band - Worth Imagining- Another gravel-voiced songwriter (nothing wrong with that!). Imaginative and varied instrumentation and nice under-stated harmonies. Good album - bad sleeve...

Strutterzine, Holland

THE KENN MORR BAND ‘WORTH IMAGING’ (FLEETS COVE MUSIC/HEMIFRAN/SWEDEN IMPORT) American Singer/songwriter KENN MORR is of course the leader of the band THE KENN MORR BAND. The album released under this moniker is filled with acoustic tingled Folksy Roots music that clearly draws influences from BOB DYLAN, CROSBY, NASH, STILLS and YOUNG, VAN MORRISON and GORDON LIGHTFOOT. Fans of that Singer/Songwriter style will definitely like this a lot. This is what I would call ‘campfire-music’, where everybody is invited to join and sing-a-long. Well done and more info at:

Roots Time, Belgium

I remember as if it happened yesterday when Connecticut-based singer-songwriter Kenn Morr wrote to me after our positive review of his album "Move On" in 2008. He sent a stack of CDs to be given away to Roots Time readers.

Again we have the honor and pleasure to inform you about his latest album "Worth Imagining" (see below). Morr’s sixth studio album is a good album, so let that be clear immediately. Under the name 'The Kenn Morr Band' this CD brings ten new, compositions. Kenn is accompanied by Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, accordion, piano, etc.), Bob Gaspar (drums, percussion) and Dan Hocott (bass). Kenn Morr plays acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboards and harmonica.

This artist has a gentle but compelling voice he uses to sing over his poetic stories accompanied by soft, mellow music. When he sings in whispers, I constantly think about Elliott Murphy with whom Kenn Morr has more than his voice in common. The songs themselves seem a bit like the work of Elliott Murphy with engaging, intimate stories about the things of life such as his love, relationships, and loss events that have made an impression on the artist.

Extremes are not on this album, but each song has its specific character and story. "Lighthouse" is a song that I've often played on my radio show. At home I listen to the opening track "Bad Days" and "A Little Time". But as I said before: every song is of the same high quality and standards. It is highly enjoyable to listen to this new album from The Kenn Morr Band.

Kenn Morr’s voice will always remind me of Elliott Murphy. Both artists sing magnificent stories about issues that move them in life like love, loss and complex relationships. Each and every song on his 6th album ‘Worth Imagining’ is of the highest quality and makes this new record without any doubt worthwhile to be added to your own music collection.

Roots Time, Belgium

Ik herinner me nog als gebeurde het gisteren toen de uit Connecticut afkomstige singer-songwriter Kenn Morr mij naar aanleiding van onze positieve recensie van zijn album “Move On” in 2008 een mailtje toestuurde met wat buiten properties vallende dankbetuigingen, gevolgd door een stapeltje cd’s van “Move On” die we onder onze Rootstime-lezers mochten verdelen.

Ook nu hebben we opnieuw de eer en het genoegen om u mee te laten genieten van zijn nieuwste plaat “Worth Imagining” (zie beneden). En dit 6e studioalbum van Kenn Morr is alweer een goede plaat, laat dat dus meteen duidelijk gesteld worden. Onder de naam ‘The Kenn Morr Band’ brengt hij op deze cd tien nieuwe, eigen composities waarbij hij instrumentaal begeleid wordt door Tom Hagymasi (viool, mandoline, accordeon, piano, etc.), Bob Gaspar (drums, percussie) en Dan Hocott (bas). Zelf speelt Kenn Morr op akoestische en elektrische gitaren, piano, keyboards en mondharmonica.

Deze artiest beschikt over een zachte maar boeiende stem waarmee hij zijn poëtische verhalen zingt onder begeleiding van zacht gespeelde muziek. Als hij zo fluisterend zingt, dan moet ik telkens weer denken aan Elliott Murphy met wie Kenn Morr meer dan zijn stem gemeen heeft. Ook de songs zelf lijken wel wat op het werk van Elliott Murphy met boeiende, intimistische verhalen over de dingen des levens zoals daar zijn liefde, relaties, verlies en gebeurtenissen die indruk op de artiest hebben gemaakt.

Echte uitschieters staan er niet op dit album, maar elke song heeft zijn specifieke karakter en verhaal. “Lighthouse” is een nummer dat ik zeker nog vaak zal gaan draaien tijdens mijn legendarische weekendjes dj-en thuis en ook openingstrack “Bad Days” en “A Little Time” zullen daarbij af en toe nog wel eens de revue passeren. Maar zoals eerder al gezegd: elke song is van diezelfde hoogstaande kwaliteit op deze zeer aangenaam beluisterbare nieuwe cd van ‘The Kenn Morr Band’.

Muziek Venster, The Netherlands

In een plattelandsstadje, in de Amerikaanse staat Connecticut, woont singer-songwriter Kenn Morr. Hij houdt van een rustieke omgeving met ruisende beekjes, een entourage die we ook weerspiegeld zien in zijn muziek. Zijn laatste en inmiddels zesde album heeft als titel “Worth Imagining”. Kenn is een meesterlijke songschrijver en beschikt over een zeer aangenaam stembeluid. Zijn begeleidingsband, waarmee hij al zeven jaar samenwerkt, brengt zijn muziek tot leven. Je hoort de invloeden terug van helden uit zijn verleden zoals Bob Dylan, Paul Simon en vooral Gordon Lightfoot.

Muziek Venster, The Netherlands

Singer-songwriter Kenn Morr lives in a country town in the U.S. in the state of Connecticut in a rustic setting with rushing streams, an entourage that we see reflected in his music. His latest (and now sixth) album is titled "Worth Imagining". Kenn is a masterful songwriter with a very pleasant vocal tone. His backing band brings his music to life. You can hear the influences of his past heroes such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and especially Gordon Lightfoot. - United Kingdom

The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground

A Long Island native now living in rural Connecticut, Morr has absorbed the community spirit and simpler life style into his songs, acoustic soulful Americana sung in a soft, whispery style that conjures thoughts of Dylan, Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Steve Forbert and, at times, even Mark Knopfler.

It's a warm, intimate sound, the melodies flecked out with mandolins, dulcimer, accordion, fiddle and keyboards on songs that talk of making choices (Standin' Still), fighting against the everyday odds (Higher Ground, Spinning Wheel), ageing (Another Year), holding on in the face of life's storms (Restless Wind, Gone) and never letting your dreams grow too old to remember (Fly Free).

His lyrics are peppered with images of change, of leaving things behind to find something more soothing to the soul, and that's pretty much the effect the music has, whether he's plugging into the backwoods folk blues of The Jewel or shuffling on the jerky rhythms of Spinning Wheel. One for those cold nights when you want to feel the world still holds a place for you. Morr, please. 

Real Roots Cafe' - Holland

The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground
In een plattelandsstadje, in de Amerikaanse staat Connecticut, woont singer-songwriter Kenn Morr. Hij houdt van een rustieke omgeving met ruisende beekjes, een entourage die we ook weerspiegeld zien op zijn vijfde album Higher Ground. In een serene, bijna intieme sfeer speelt hij en zijn begeleidingsband, tien fluweelzachte folksongs, die je aanvankelijk vanwege lispelende zang, mijmerende melodieën en lieflijke instrumentale behandeling, gelijk wilt afserveren. Doorluisteren loont echter, met als gevolg dat gapen in genieten overgaat. Je ontdekt heel langzaam de naturelle schoonheid van de muziek, dankzij een veelheid aan voornamelijk akoestische instrumenten. Steunend op het kalme ritme van drums en bas, zijn het gitaren, mandoline, bouzouki, accordeon, dulcimer, cajon, piano, Afrikaanse duimpiano(?) conga’s en de mooi meerstemmige zang die de liedjes een heel mild karakter bezorgen. Harmonie is zo te horen in alles het sleutelbegrip geweest, welke sfeer door de The Kenn Morr Band met een haast achteloze vanzelfsprekendheid wordt overgebracht. Dat mag misschien niet erg spannend klinken, maar steeds meer heb ik me met toenemend plezier, aan deze 45 minutendurende manier van onthaasten overgegeven (Huub Thomassen)

Real Roots Cafe' - Holland

The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground
In a country town in the U.S. state of Connecticut, lives singer-songwriter Kenn Morr. He likes his rustic settings with rushing streams, an entourage that we see reflected on his fifth album, Higher Ground. In a serene, almost intimate atmosphere he and his band play ten velvety folk songs. You initially hear hushed vocals, brooding melodies and gentle instrumental treatment, similar to afserveren. But Listening pays off. You discover slowly the native beauty of the music, thanks to a multitude of mainly acoustic instruments. Drawing on the calm rhythm of drums and bass are the guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion, dulcimer, cajon, piano, African thumb piano (?) Congas and beautiful vocal harmonies. This delivers a very mild character to the songs. Harmony is the key notion and the mood of The Kenn Morr Band transmitts almost a casual naturalness. That might not sound very exciting, but I have increasingly had the pleasure of listening to this 45 minute CD and have used it as a way to relax.
(Huub Thomassen)

Sunday 16, 2011, January

Belgium Website Ranks The Kenn Morr Band's "Higher Ground" among the "Best of 2010"

The Kenn Morr Band's new CD "Higher Ground" is ranked among the "Best CDs of 2010" 0n Belgium's American Music Homestead site :

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground

By Geraint Davies - United Kingdom

THE KENN MORR BAND: HIGHER GROUND - "Another laid-back vocalist - He almost whispers his songs, but very appealing. Well played, with interesting use of instrumentation and really good harmonies. Favourite: 'Higher Ground' itself."
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rootstime Magazine, Belgium by Valsam

-“The fifth album of Kenn Morr is called ‘Higher Ground’ and contains a secret treasure, true jewelry with ten twinkling pearls that he sings in his typical laid back and almost whispering style. Our advice: buy this record and enjoy it for yourself as many times as you desire. It’s absolutely worthwhile!”
– -

It was for us a great pleasure to review the new and fifth studio album from Kenn Morr. The album "Higher Ground" was released under the group name "The Kenn Morr Band" with contributions of Kenn’s band consisting of strings virtuoso Tom Hagymasi, bassist Dan Hocott and drummer / percussionist Bob Gaspar who added great value to songs which are treasures.

Ten new original compositions adorn this album which, like Kenn's previous album, contains very catchy, uplifting songs. Like with the previous album Kenn is immediately reminiscent of Elliott Murphy. We do not know if Kenn Morr knows his voice and music are so closely linked to the music of the troubadour, but he might agree to give Elliott Murphy his songs because they could be included in the repertoire of this international star.

Kenn Morr is mainly influenced by artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Gordon Lightfoot and that's evident when you hear the songs on "Higher Ground". The origin of these songs are Kenn’s acoustic guitar and they are exquisitely dyed by the brilliant instrumentation of the band, especially the violin and mandolin sounds of Tom Hagymasi.

In addition to being a talented musician Kenn is a husband and the father of two young sons. Music seems to be the thread in the family as you can picture Kenn in his house somewhere on the acoustic guitar strumming. That is where the songs on the new CD "Higher Ground" seem to come from.

In conclusion, our personal favorite songs:" Standin 'Still', title track "Higher Ground", "Restless Wind", "Another Year", "Things I've Done" and the wonderful capstone "Fly Free". Laid back sung, almost whispered gems that make us conclude that you should sample the album 'CD Baby's website and you will make the decision to have Kenn Morr’s Higher Ground in your homes so you can enjoy as often as you like. 

Reminder News

Kenn Morr Band to return to Arbor Park

Ellington - Kenn Morr returns to Ellington for a free concert on July 31. Since the last time Kenn Morr played in Ellington, he has recorded not one, but two new CDs. In fact, the latest effort - which is still nameless - is so new that Morr still refers to the previous album - “Higher Ground,” which came out in May 2010 - as his “new” album.

Morr said an “interestingly strange and difficult” number of events in his personal life led to the writing and recording of the newer disc – in part, as a means of therapy – which was a quick turnaround in itself, considering that it usually takes close to two years for the entire process.

“There's not a central theme,” Morr said, adding that the loss of his mother as well as his sound engineer in the same year were events that stirred up things inside of him.

“What I do to cope is write, so I started writing, and writing a lot,” he said.

Those personal songs, however, won't be among those heard when Morr plays at Arbor Park on July 31, as part of the Summer Concert Series, because the recordings aren't available yet and the band hasn't rehearsed them yet.

“You go and record them, that's one thing,” he said. “Then you have to go and learn how to play them – it's kind of funny.”

So, the cuts from “Higher Ground” will be central to the July 31 show, along with some earlier pieces.

“We're doing 100 percent my material,” Morr said, “with stuff off of my five CDs to date.”

Morr said he has noticed, especially at his outdoor summer shows, that his music has a wide appeal.

“We get anywhere from young kids hanging out by the stage or up dancing on the green, up to people in their 80s, and everywhere in between,” he said. “People of all ages seem to dig it.”

Morr, who is from Colebrook, Conn., said Ellington has always been a special place for him, and is a town where he has been well-received.

“I love going there, and being there,” he said. “I just love the area.”

He added that one year his Ellington show met with a rainstorm and had to be moved to the Ellington High School auditorium, where about 30 people attended.

“We just had a magical night, even though there was only a handful of people there,” he said. “That made us look forward to coming back and playing again the next year. Somehow that handful of people in that room made it feel like there was 3,000 people in the audience. We saw what the people were made of.”

The Kenn Morr Band plays July 31, starting at 6 p.m. at Arbor Park. The show is free, although donations to the Parks and Recreation Department will be accepted. 

Rootstime - Holland

On an attached flyer is the following question: what does Kenn Morr have in common with Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Cliff, Carl Perkins & Willie Nelson? Would you have any idea? Well, here's the answer: their records were all ever produced by the legendary Bob Johnston buttons specialist. Disappointed by this answer? That does not really cause Bob Johnston has the best extracted from Kenn Morr and bundled on his album "New Moon Rising" from 2004. The originality of his songwriting talent, the melodious smooth reclining music and his musical, maniacal urge to sit in the audience to perfection contained in this work. That album marked the breakthrough for the Connecticut resident. Kenn Morr followed with an album entitled "Coming Home" released in 2006 and now we have latest CD "Move On".  This time he has produced the album himself and created a fuller sound by adding instruments including piano, mandolin, violin, lap steel, harmonica and percussion subtly present. For three of the numbers sought and received strong vocal support: Rex Fowler sings on the song "Do not Turn Around" and the unique voice of Annie Golden sits proudly on "Still Need You Near" (an absolute highlight on this album ) and "Girl With The Auburn Hair". That little lady will be in our memories forever thanks to the song "Tell Me Your Plans" she inzong the charts with The shirts in 1978, 30 years ago. That gave her as a star role in the musical and the movie "Hair". But we were talking mainly about Kenn Morr and his new CD "Move On". However, this work contains 12 self-written good songs, each of which briefly with a catchy voice. A passionate singer Most of these songs you can hum along smoothly after a few listenings. The songs have an intimate character and consist of honest and personal life inspired lyrics. The title track "Move On" is a musical letter to a friend with the council to forget the sad past and look optimistically to the future. This subject is addressed in the song "Do not Turn Around". The song "Blue Morn" is an autobiographical story about how Kenn Morr personally experienced the events of 9/11. He was very close to Ground Zero and this song describes how his exit from New York and what his feelings were at this horrific event. The musical journey through this CD also has several paths. So get hints of reggae ("Get Back"), rock ("Let's Take Tonight"), country ("River Song") and Celtic influences discussed and Kenn Morr shows us that he is an artist of many talents, and in all those different Styles manages to maintain. effortlessly "Move On" is a very nice and pleasant picture of a man whose voice always reminds me of Elliott Murphy in his ballads. And that's already a big sir, is not it? Kenn Morr sings the last song on this CD entitled "Everything Will Be Fine". We are persuaded to agree with him...