When singer/songwriter Morgan Evans releases his self-titled debut album on March 14, it will be the culmination of a musical journey that began when he started his first band at the age of thirteen.
It’s a journey that has seen the Novocastrian tour with international superstars like Taylor Swift and Alan Jackson, play to over 50,000 people in Nashville at the world’s biggest country music festival and build a large, devoted following as he’s played the length and breadth of his native land.
In 2013, Morgan was awarded the CMC New Oz Artist of the Year award at the CMC Music Awards. The award was fan voted and solidified his status as one of the hottest young performers in Australian country.
After hitting big with his debut single, the Newcastle written and Nashville recorded Big Skies, Morgan immediately made his mark on the Australian musical landscape – with a sound that fused the contemporary country of Keith Urban with the melodic rock of the Foo Fighters, fuelled by a unique passion and energy all Morgan’s own. His music is driven by an optimism shaped by life’s bumpy journey, a faith in the power of love and hard work to overcome the obstacles we all face everyday.
After seeing Morgan whip a festival crowd into a frenzy with his charismatic live presence, Warner Music offered him a recording contract and soon Morgan was in the studio with Golden Guitar winning producer Matt Fell in Sydney, recording his debut hit EP – the acclaimed Live Each Day, released in 2012.
After recording Freedom Like This, the only song on his Live Each Day EP that he didn’t write, Morgan met the song’s composer – Nashville-based ex-pat Aussie guitarist and songwriter Jedd Hughes, who had previously collaborated with Keith Urban, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krauss. The two formed an instant musical connection and soon Morgan enlisted Jedd to produce his second EP While We’re Young, which yielded multiple #1 hits, including ‘Carry On’.
It’s a musical partnership that has continued on Morgan’s debut album, again recorded in Nashville, with an all-star group of Nashville A-list musicians.
“To hear guys who played on the songs that inspired me to become a musician in the first place, playing on my songs, blew my mind,” said Morgan. “It reminded me of why I was doing this in the first place and really inspired me to take my vocals and guitar playing on the album to the next level”.
The songs that make up Morgan Evans are the result of a relentless songwriting schedule for almost a year that took Morgan to Nashville and back, and saw him tap into the deepest parts of himself.
“I wrote a lot of songs over the last year and through the process we’ve come up with an album that talks about who I am and how I live my life, keeping that childhood heart beating through the ups and downs of life. This album is me, and that’s why I called it ‘Morgan Evans’.”
Morgan wrote eleven of the twelve tracks – some on his own, some with local artists and many with A-list Nashville writers.
The album tells the story of perseverance through life’s toughest blows by holding on to childhood innocence. From the thrill of infatuation in ‘I Wanna Go’, the deep devotion of ‘Love You Home’ and the seductive ‘Make You Feel Like A Woman’ to the romantic turmoil and betrayal in lead single ‘One Eye For An Eye’ and opening track ‘Like A Tornado’, the glories and heartbreaks of love are laid soulfully bare.
The album also explores the complexities of a toxic romance (Another Goodbye Kiss) and a dream of a better world (All In This Together) as Morgan showcases his highest and lowest ebbs, including Childhood Heart – Morgan’s manifesto on life.
The final tracks are the high-octane rocker ‘Best I Never Had’ and his take on the Guy Clark classic ‘The Cape’, another story of the childhood spirit. Our own country and roots star Kasey Chambers provides vocals on the song.
The album is set for release on March 14, amongst an exciting period for Morgan. He will follow Brisbane and Melbourne shows with US hitmaker Gretchen Wilson with a main stage set at the massive CMC Rocks the Hunter 2014 festival at the Hope Estate. A series of album launch party shows are scheduled the following week.