Cary Morin Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the
first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to
someone who has never seen or heard you?
Answer: If you just
heard me for the first time, thanks for finding me and I hope there is a
second time! If you have not heard what I do, my music is largely
acoustic. For years I’ve been recording solo acoustic
guitar and vocal albums. I’ve done this for a few reasons. When I was
younger I used to try and find solo acoustic guitar and vocal recordings
and it wasn’t very easy! Now one can find that sort of recording on the
internet with ease. Another reason for these
solo recordings are fans often want to hear a recording that is closest
to what I do on stage. I enjoy writing songs and recordings that stand
alone with just a guitar and a voice.
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?
Answer: As this year
draws to a close, I can say it was a good one! I toured the US starting
in the Spring for 3 ½ months and continue to do shows around the Rocky
Mountains and Midwestern US until the end
of this year. I had a chance to make new friends and see old friends. I
performed with songwriters that were favourites from my youth like
David Bromberg, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie, Guy Davis,
& Tony Trischka. I have a few different bands
that I play with and got a chance to perform with them at some
wonderful festivals. I recorded a new album in Louisiana with a group of
Cajun and Creole artists, who have also become new friends. The
recording was done at Dockside Studios in Maurice with engineer
& producer, Tony Daigle. We hope to release the album in early
2020. Overall it was a productive and enjoyable year.
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
Answer: My latest CD is When I Rise,
it’s doing well in the U.S.! I’m excited for it’s European release and
hope to come back to Europe and perform some of those new songs. This
recording is a little
different than my previous releases in that we decided to use a band on
half of the CD. There were some songs that I thought a band would serve
well so it was fun going through that process and playing with some
great performers. We also made an official “When
I Rise” video for the title cut of the CD with a Western theme that
we are very happy with as well! The video won a 2019 Telly Award
(Bronze) for music video. The album, CD cover art, and the video have
been submitted for Grammy Awards. Keep your fingers
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Answer: I write most
of the songs on my albums. I do record 1-2 cover songs for every album.
I like to honor my favorite artists and their songs by coming up with
my rendition of a particular song that I like.
Lamitschka: What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Answer: There is a
song on my 2015 CD (Tiny Town) titled Valley Of The Chiefs. I recorded
the song again with a band for an upcoming CD. The song is based on a
story from my family about an event that took
place about 100 years ago in the US state of Montana. As the story
goes, my Great Grandmother was kidnapped by 5 warriors from a
neighboring tribe when she was a teen along with 2 of her friends. A few
days after being captured, the girls escaped and managed
to make their way back home. The story speaks of perseverance and
survival and has always been with me, reminding me that no obstacles can
prevent me from achieving my goals.
Lamitschka: How much creative control do you have over your music?
Answer: I have
complete creative control over my recordings. All of my recordings have
been independently released to date. I’m seeking advice on recordings
more and more these days after making records on
my own for decades. I enjoy outside ideas that ultimately will take a
recording to a place that I never would have on my own. When I’m making
an album I benefit from the advice of others that can hear things that I
can’t. After a few days in the studio, my
ears become fatigued and it helps to have the ears of others. I look
forward to future recordings and hope to collaborate with other
songwriters as a way of sharing ideas to achieve a new sound or theme.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
Answer: I’m not sure
if there is enough space in your article for this answer. As a child
growing up in the U.S. state of Montana, I first played piano and then
other instruments. I was fascinated with stride
piano, Dixieland jazz, and Ragtime piano. I’m not sure how this
happened in the early 1970s in Montana because I didn’t even know where
or what era this music came from, but I sure loved it. Still do! I loved
Fats Domino from New Orleans. Later I was intrigued
by the fiddle playing of Doug Kershaw. I absolutely had to have a
fiddle and learn how to play the traditional songs he recorded. Later in
life, the music of Louisiana and New Orleans continue to inspire me. I
started playing guitar when I was 10 or 11 years
old. I loved fingerpicking, folk music, bluegrass, jazz, rock, blues,
country music, country swing, and classical music. Some artists would
include, Andre Segovia, Vivaldi, Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke, Mark Knopfler,
Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck,
George Benson, Pat Metheny, David Bromberg, David Lindley, Tony Rice,
Pierre Bensusan, Led Zeppelin, assorted American pop stars and folk
stars. The list goes on and on and continues to grow.
Lamitschka: What’s unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?
Answer: Ha! Good
question. There are a few ways to answer this one. I’m a fingerstyle
guitarist and songwriter who is a Crow Tribal member. Within these
parameters, I am the only one in the world.
Joking aside, I see
many performers that do something similar to what I do and I like them
all! I think that we all have something that sets us apart from each
other. It may be guitar tunings, vocal styles, guitar
styles, these things make us all unique. I always enjoy the chance to
meet or (if I’m really lucky) perform with new friends. I do my best to
stay in touch with acquaintances from the road and keep up with where we
are and what’s going on.
Lamitschka: What has been your greatest challenge in music business?
Answer: My greatest
challenge in the music business has been to stay current. The business
is always changing and it’s a struggle to change with it. In my younger
years, I played mostly with bands. Looking back
on those years, I wish that I had also pursued solo acoustic guitar as
well. With that in mind, as a solo acoustic player it’s important that I
also play with other musical configurations either acoustic or
electric. Sometimes it seems there aren’t enough
hours in a day to keep up with everything but it’s fun to try!
Lamitschka: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?
Answer: I played with a
band in the US for nearly 20 years and learned much from those times.
During that time I wrote a stage play called,
Turtle Island, that was staged here in Colorado twice. It was rewarding to see that project go from being and idea to a stage production.
It was a thrill to
travel and play music throughout the U.S. and Europe for 7 years with US
artist Pura Fe. I learned volumes from her as far as music,
songwriting, singing, and performing goes.
I continue to travel, record, and perform and I’m proud of that!
Lamitschka: Any thoughts of retirement ahead?
Answer: No! I find
what I do from day to day rewarding and couldn’t replace it with
anything. I will most likely play and tour until I physically cannot do
it any longer…
Lamitschka: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
Answer: When I tour in
the US I travel by caravan. (I think that’s what it’s called in
Europe). It’s essentially a large Sprinter RV with all the comforts of
home. I travel with my wife Celeste and our dog Zeus.
We are often away from our home in Colorado for months at a time. I
love it when there is a break in the schedule and we have a moment to
spend with friends or on our own in different parts of this huge
Lamitschka: What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?
Answer: I’m grateful
for the shows I have had the opportunity to see but there are always
shows & artists that I wish I could have seen but didn’t. Also,
gear. There have been many guitars, fiddles, amps, pianos,
and other stuff that I have either sold or given away. I’m not
regretting anything that I have given away or traded, but all the stuff I
sold for one reason or another I wish I still had. Instruments all have
unique qualities that are perfect for some situations.
Realistically I would have to have a mansion to store all of these
items but I think it would be fun to have those items that are exactly
the right thing for a performance or recording that I no longer have.
European fans travel to the United States to attend the several of the
music festivals for the opportunity to see so many of their favorite
artists, bands and celebrities. Will you be participating
and how will the fans be able to find you?
Answer: I will
continue to tour the U.S. & Europe and hope to play many festivals
in the future. My manager keeps my tour schedule up to date on my
website. I wouldn’t change your travel plans based on my schedule
but you can always find me at CaryMorin.com.
Lamitschka: Is there any place you haven’t played that you would like to?
Answer: It’s funny
that I’ve been doing this for decades and I am constantly playing in
places that I have never played either in the US or in Europe. I would
like to travel to Australia and to Brazil. I have
fans in both of these spots that I would love to go and meet.
Lamitschka: When you’re on tour, do you have time to play tourist?
Answer: I typically do
not have much time to be a tourist when I am on tour. The schedule is
packed with travel, load ins, sound checks, rehearsals, etc. We hope to
be able to schedule more time for leisure
activities on our next trip to Europe.
music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have
your own website and what will fans find there?
Answer: Yes, http://CaryMorin.com is a good spot to check out my schedule, news, social links, photos, press, videos and more.
Lamitschka: What message would you like to send your European fans?
Answer: I really
appreciate European audiences. Folks really listen and are appreciative
of the artistry. I hope to meet more of you in the years to come!