The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - LEXIE CARTWRIGHT


He’s a No. 1-sell­ing artist who has been in­ducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, but Rus­sell Mor­ris is as hum­ble as they come. The Aus­tralian leg­end sees him­self set­tling down in Cur­rumbin one day.

“I found a beau­ti­ful home in Cur­rumbin about three years ago but the tim­ing wasn’t quite right,” he says.

“It’s a hid­den trea­sure there but I’ve found a place in Mel­bourne, so I think my next move will be buy­ing a smaller house in the Cur­rumbin area and com­ing up to stay there in win­ter.”

It is no co­in­ci­dence that his hol­i­day house will be a stone’s throw away from Blues on Broad­beach.

“Blues on Broady is fan­tas­tic,” he says.

“I re­mem­ber the good feel­ing and vibe play­ing there last year, es­pe­cially of the people.

“It never looked like there was even a pos­si­bil­ity of trou­ble which is a worry at free events, but the crowds are gen­uinely grate­ful for who’s play­ing.”

Head to the Surf Pa­rade Stage at 8.45pm to­mor­row to catch Mor­ris do­ing a com­bi­na­tion of his two blues and roots al­bums, which are cur­rently No. 1 and 2 on the blues charts right now.

“I also like to get up there and have a laugh and tell some sto­ries,” he says.

Also head­lin­ing is crowd favourite Diesel (Mark Li­zotte), who Mor­ris has paired with in the past.

“Diesel played on my first al­bum, he’s a great guy,” he says.

“I think he’s an enor­mous talent, he’s not only a great gui­tar player and a great singer, but he looks great.

“He’s one of those bald blokes that looks good and I’m the type that looks like a frog, I feel like punch­ing him,” he laughs.

“Only jok­ing. I ad­mire him so much.”

Play­ing along­side younger artists does not faze Mor­ris.

“If you made cab­i­nets all your life you’d be­come a mas­ter crafts­man, mu­sic is the same,” he says.

“I’ve been work­ing on my craft for years.

“You lose it if you get a bit jaded and live in the past, you need to ex­plore dif­fer­ent things and move with the times.

“I look at new bands and em­brace them.

“That keeps me go­ing, it in­spires me.”

The 65-year-old says he has one more smash al­bum left in him.

“I know where I’m head­ing mu­si­cally with the Blues Tril­ogy al­bum,” he says.

“My last al­bum ( Van Diemen’s Land) needs to get out of my sys­tem first and I think it’ll hap­pen prob­a­bly around the sec­ond week of June.

“The rea­son I’m do­ing this Blues Tril­ogy al­bum is I want people to look at our na­tion’s his­tory, the good, bad and ugly.

“It’s all about the love of our ta­pes­try that made us who we are as a na­tion. If 100 years ago you asked me if my fa­ther was a con­vict I would’ve pan­icked be­cause the stigma was so bad and caused an Aus­tralian to cringe, so no one would talk about the past.

“Thank­fully that’s changed and we’ve stepped on to the world stage and now people are hop­ing to find a con­vict in their past.

“I’m very pas­sion­ate about our coun­try and its his­tory. I love it so much and hope to bring it into my mu­sic.”

De­spite his ad­vice for upand-com­ing mu­si­cians be­ing to avoid fol­low­ing the crowd, he’s guilty of judg­ing a very fa­mous band be­fore they hit the big time.

“A lady sign­ing a new act played me an al­bum and asked me what I thought of it,” he says.

“I lis­tened to it and said ‘what a load of rubbish’, then she showed me a pic­ture and I was on the floor laugh­ing and said ‘why would a record com­pany be stupid enough to sign a mo­ronic act like that, it will never work’. It was Kiss.

“They had an idea and fol­lowed through with it, they started some­thing that no­body else had done and stuck to what they knew.

“That’s worked for me too.”

Rus­sell Mor­ris plays Blues on Broad­beach to­mor­row night. Diesel plays Satur­day and Sun­day. The free fes­ti­val runs un­til Sun­day. The full pro­gram is at blueson­broad­

Pic­ture: TIM MARS­DEN

The next al­bum by Rus­sell Mor­ris will fea­ture a big slice of Aus­tralian his­tory, but first he has to play Blues on Broad­beach to­mor­row night.

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