Kenn Morr’s songs have an elemental quality—water, earth, relationships, seasons, time, change, loss—like the great songwriters who inspired him early on: Dylan, Simon, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, and especially Gordon Lightfoot. He understands that when trouble comes, the trade winds bring an upside, and there’s always the redemptive power of music. “Tomorrow will be soon, so dance beneath the moon and may the morning light come set you free” he sings on Morning Light, one of ten new songs on “Open Field,” his eleventh album.
Devouring his heroes’ songs on his older siblings’ vinyl while pursuing a school boy career as an ace pitcher on the mounds of Long Island, he found other inspirations on his own, including John Dawson of New Riders of the Purple Sage and Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker band. Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step became his friend and supporter. Kenn’s college baseball scholarship didn’t work out, but he turned—appropriately--to Communications, a field for which he is well-suited. He’s got a radio announcer’s rich baritone and the kind of charisma that spellbinds audiences of all sizes, from an intimate coffeehouse to the stages of venues as demanding as the famed Bitter End in New York City or the International Festival of Arts and Ideas on the New Haven Green. He’s paid dues of every kind, played gigs of every stripe, including sharing the stage with artists like John Sebastian, Al Kooper, Eric Burdon, and John Wesley Harding.
Kenn tends to let the Universe bring him what he needs. (After all, a chance subway encounter brought his supportive wife and two young sons, his motivation in all that he does.) He left Long Island and found in Connecticut a home, new friends, and—eventually--the band that brings his music to life. The core of that band has been together for twelve years, long enough to gel personally and musically, as it demonstrates on “Open Field,” its strongest work yet, a veritable tapestry of textures and feels. The songs resonate with listeners because they come directly from the life Kenn Morr observes around him; they’re very much lived songs.
A masterful writer and soulful singer at the peak of his creative powers--as a listen to his latest Sandy Brook Studios recording, “Open Field,” quickly attests--Kenn is the real deal. With airplay across the country and in Europe (where his popularity continues to grow), Kenn Morr’s star is on the rise.