“This week Russell Morgan, from Cheshire, UK appears for the first time on Jaebberwocky, which totally belies the degree to which his music has filled my ears in the past year. Whatever genie it is that bestows soul upon a singer, it's a capricious, miserly spirit that only deigns to bless a few in each generation. And somewhere in its travels it decided to light and grant a rare magic to Russ Morgan. This is a voice that draws the full moon into the sky in hope of laying claim to inspiration.
Comparisons to Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, John Martyn, and Nick Drake come readily, given the combination of dusky, soulful voice and lyrical, finger style guitar in open-tuning . But this is a new and original sound that brings an admixture of jubilance and wistful longing for the enjoyment of the heart and ears. And it delights more with each listen.
Experience the triptych of Beautiful Day, Move these Mountains, and Surrender, and be moved. And give us your impressions after you do.”
“Although this 8 track CD runs to 37 minutes and is thus longer than some album releases, Russell’s website describes this, his debut release, as an “EP”. Cheshire-based Russell has an eclectic list of influences, from acoustic ace John Martyn to jazz legend John Coltrane, and the songs here are equally diverse, from folky ditties like the opener and the Mississippi blues-inflected title track to the hard blues-rocking, heavy riffing, psychedelia-tinged ‘Push It Up’. Russell has a very distinctive singing voice, his acoustic playing is individual but occasionally bearing traces of Mississippi John Hurt and the 60s folk and folk-blues revivalists, and his song-writing strongly individual – which all together makes for a very interesting release.”
Blues matters review issue 64