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Russell Morris :: Sharkmouth

Written by on May 25, 2014



Album review by Angela Madden


Yes, it is the same Russell Morris you are thinking of; him of the 1960s ‘The Real Thing’ fame and success. The 64 year old musician has a new-ish recording out, ‘Sharkmouth’ and this marks his first ever top 10 album – some 44 years after Morris went to number one with ‘The Real Thing’.

Interesting, ‘Sharkmouth’ has been put out as an largely independent release by Morris; after every major record label in the country rejected his proposed project. Very impressive stuff to then gain such solid sales and rankings.

This is a blues album. It is also a story-telling album; full of yarns and characters who leap out of the history books, or popular ledged, and into the murky wetlands of the blues. Says Morris via his website “I’ve always wanted to do an album based on those elusive Australian characters, stories and legends. My grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 93, and during her lifetime she would always regale me with stories about her youth, and what things were like ‘back then’. “

There are songs of boxing identities (Balland of Les Darcy), financial collapses (The Big House) and even Phar Lap (Big Red). If this sounds disjointed, this is not my intention. ‘Sharkmouth’ flows easily as a logical recording, with the only slight criticism being some weaker lyrical choices at times. All in all, this is a comprehensive album indeed. ‘Sharkmouth’ sounds as though Morris enjoyed penning these songs, and subsequently of seeing them dance to life in front of audiences.

This is Australiana Blues. And this is Russell Morris enjoying a very surprising comeback.


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