Bill Morrissey was a songwriter's songwriter. Beginning with his first eponymous album in 1984, Morrissey established himself as a musical voice of the people, garnering Grammy Award nominations and 4-star reviews in Rolling Stone in the course of his rich career. Morrissey was also a published author, completing his second novel ("Imaginary Runner") before his death. He was loved by many of his peers as a truly literate writer whose hard scrabble characters and fast wit won him critical acclaim.
On July 23, 2011, Morrissey died as a result of heart disease in a hotel room in Dalton, GA. He was on his way to visit his mother in Pennsylvania after a successful tour through the American Southeast.
In November 2011, a group of fellow artists came together for a tribute concert at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA with proceeds to go to MusiCares. Musicians performed Morrissey songs and a few of their own works in a celebration of Bill Morrissey's life. Hosted by World Cafe's David Dye and singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, the event included appearances by Peter Case, Shawn Colvin, Barry Crimmins, Mark Erelli, John Gorka, David Johansen, Peter Keane, Fred Koller, Patty Larkin, Cormac McCarthy, Pete Nelson and more.
MusiCares is a not-for profit division of the National Academy Of the Recording Arts and Sciences that provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies.
(The concert recorded and mixed by Jeff Oehler. Photos by Susan Bibeau.)