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Cary Morin

Member sinceAugust 05, 2013
LocationFort Collins, CO
InfluencesKeb Mo, Jorma Kaukonen, Taj Mahal
Artist Biography:
Described as “one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today,” Cary Morin brings together the great musical traditions of America and beyond like no other. With deft fingerstyle guitar and vocals that alternately convey melodic elation and gritty world- weariness, Morin crafts an inimitable style often characterized as acoustic Native Americana with qualities of blues, bluegrass, jazz, jam, reggae, and dance.

“A man and a guitar, a lot of soul, and an understanding of the history of soulful men with guitars in American music can sometimes achieve this kind of timelessness in their work…,” comments Richard Higgs (Public Radio Tulsa). “Cary Morin has the chops and is one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today. [His] performances…would stand out, variously, among the old-school Delta blues pliers, the Greenwich Village folk crowd at the end of the 1950s, the back-to nature bards of the late '60s, or today's thriving singer/songwriter scene. Morin references all these styles; they're in his vocabulary, but he's no dilettante. His engaging sound is his alone...”

His most recent release, Cradle to the Grave, completes a three-album project of acoustic recordings. The recordings provide a timeline of his songwriting and guitar work spanning 2014 to 2017. The lyrics range from blues to folk and sometimes shine a light on Native American Heritage and small town life in America. At times, the collection conveys the simplicity of a single chord to complex fingerstyle guitar. Morin states, “The goal was to create a sort of triptych of my solo fingerstyle journey, one that demonstrates the evolution of my progression with songwriting, finger picking, and the use of open tunings. Cradle to the Grave is a culmination of my musical efforts as a soloist thus far.”

“The title track is a bit telling. The lyrics refer to the realization that, through all of my travels and experiences, I have come to understand that life is fleeting. I think you can hear this theme in ‘Lay Baby Lay’ also, though this tune is more directly related to the experience of touring and travel, and the compromises therein. The last song, ‘Watch over Me,’ is a different take on the title track, as though both songs are bookends for the whole album. The theme of spirituality seems to weave its way into my work more often as the years pass. Perhaps its impending mortality! I hope we are put on this earth to help each other and should we find ourselves alone for some reason, there is still someone there with us, a higher power to help us complete our journey.”

“‘Dawns Early Light’ is written in support of the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I'm not really a protest song sort of writer, but this song seemed important. It’s written from my memories of growing up near the Missouri River and around my people in Montana. As a child, I became familiar with our traditional music and rural life. This song may be an oversimplification of the situation, but I have always felt that the honoring of a treaty, no matter when it was made, is not a complex idea. History has proved this not to be the case, but I hope this time it is. Honor the treaty, simple as that.”

Morin’s second and third solo releases, Streamline (2014) and Tiny Town (2015), follow close on the heels of an international tour that spanned the U.S. and reached as far as France and Denmark. “Rich and resonant, Streamline is a synthesis of traditional folk, blues, bluegrass and Americana styles that perfectly meshes into Cary Morin's own brand of singer-songwriter eclecticism... Cary Morin is a virtuosic guitarist of the highest order...” - Michael Canter, Jivewired. And regarding Tiny Town: “Morin finger picks with a controlled sort of reckless abandon, making the frets do his bidding as he navigates up and down the neck of the guitar. Quite impressive!... I think fans of acoustic blues will love this. Morin is an adept guitar player and delivers vocals beautifully...” - Steve Jones, Crossroads Blues Society for Blues Blast Magazine
A Crow tribal member and son of an air force officer, Morin was born in Billings, Montana. He spent the bulk of his youth in Great Falls, where he cut his teeth picking guitar standards at neighborhood get-togethers, before relocating to Northern Colorado. There, his musical career hit the ground running with The Atoll, a band he founded in 1989 that toured nationally for over 20 years, gaining a devoted following.

Later, he achieved international acclaim with The Pura Fé Trio, for whom the single “Ole Midlife Crisis,” which Morin co-wrote and performed with Pura Fé, placed at number 17 on France’s iTunes blues chart. With The Atoll and The Pura Fé Trio, and as a solo artist, Morin has played celebrated venues across the globe, including Paris Jazz Festival, Winter Park Jazz Festival, Folk Alliance International, River People Festival, Shakori Hills Festival, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and most recently, Rochefort En Accords festival in France and The Copenhagen Blues Festival, among countless others.

Morin’s stage credits also include Tribe at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, and co- authorship of Turtle Island, a 50-member production that played two consecutive years to sold-out audiences in Northern Colorado. With the Red Willow Dancers, he was a guest of the internationally renowned Kodo Drummers, performing at their 1998 Spring Festival and additional dates in Japan.

He has produced or performed on over 20 recordings, and has toured across the US, as well as Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, and the UK. Morin’s performances have reached millions on national TV in Japan, France, and the UK, as well as on national radio in the US (NPR’s “Beale Street Caravan”), UK (BBC’s “Whose London”), France (RFI), Switzerland, and Belgium.

For two consecutive years (2013 and 2014), Cary won the Colorado Blues Challenge Solo Championship. He has also been nominated for Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year and Best Blues CD in the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards for three years running. In 2013, he received a Lifetime achievement award from the Fort Collins Music Association (FoCoMA) and won the Colorado Fan Favorite Poll in the blues category for his second solo release, Streamline, and favorite songwriter in 2016. Cary has won the Colorado Blues Society’s Members Choice Awards in several categories for three years in-a-row.

In addition to his solo pursuits, Cary Morin performs with Young Ancients, a collaboration with John Magnie and Steve Amedée of The Subdudes.

More by Cary Morin:

Cradle to the Grave
Dawn's Early Light
Laid Back
Lay Baby Lay
Live A Little
Mississippi Blues
Nobody Loves You
River Under The Snow
Sing It Louder
Tiny Town
Yellow Bird

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