Craig Morrison June 1, 2023
Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Piano/Keyboards, Clarinet, Lap Steel Guitar, Harmonica, Bass, Mandolin details
Craig Morrison is a Montreal ethnomusicologist and musician. Raised in Victoria BC, he bought his first guitar in 1966 and played in coffeehouses see the article "I Was a Teenage Music Head in the Land of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead". As a teenager, seeing concerts of blues (beginning with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee), jazz (including Louis Armstrong), and rock (including Janis Joplin) led to an interest in music history. Playing in bands gave him a deeper appreciation of music styles. He sings, plays guitar, keyboards, and lap steel guitar, and has also recorded on mandolin, clarinet, harmonica, and electric and upright bass.
After researching rockabilly for a master’s thesis at York University (Toronto), eventually expanded and published in 1996 as Go Cat Go ! Rockabilly Music and Its Makers by the University of Illinois Press, Morrison moved to Montreal in 1984. He formed Craig Morrison and the Momentz, a band specializing in roots rock. He also wrote articles for the Encyclopedia Britannica and several other reference books, until he was asked to write a whole one by himself : American Popular Music : Rock and Roll, published in 2005 by Facts on File of New York. Morrison earned his Ph.D. in 2000 at Concordia University, writing his thesis on San Francisco psychedelic music, which is now available via online sources, including amazon.com. He taught for five years at McGill University and currently teaches at Concordia University in the Department of Music and the Faculty of Fine Arts on music and culture. His courses include Rock and Roll and Its Roots (such as ragtime, jazz, blues, folk, country, gospel, and pop), Pop/ Soul and Its Roots, Black Music, Music of the Beatles, Psychedelic Music, Musical History Tour (on the traditions of seven cities), and Montreal’s Festival Culture.
As part of his research, he has been interviewing veteran musicians (over 125 of them) since 1982. Several of the interviews can be read on this website. Five other interviews have been published in Rockabilly : The Twang Heard ’Round the World (2011).
Besides his books, Morrison has 11 CDs on the market :
- Rock and Roll Dance Party by Vintage Wine
- Rocket Radio
- Live At the Oscar
- That’ll Be the Day : Buddy Holly and Friends Remembered
- Stand By Me : Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Motown and Soul
- Blowing in the Wind : A Tribute to Bob Dylan and his Musical World
- Deep Water by The Never-Be Brothers
- Dreamland Blues (acoustic solo album)
- Roots, Rockin’, Rollin’ - Live In Montreal 1988 - 2011
- and two albums of bluegrass and other early country styles : Echoes From the Blue Angel, and Echoes From the Wheel Club, documenting his long association with the Montreal institution known as Hillbilly Night (which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary). Source www.craigmorrison.com