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Redemption through music is something Cory Morrow knows well after surviving nearly two decades in the rough and tumble music business. Battles with personal and professional demons inform Morrow’s music in a manner that many performers don’t have the experience to draw from. His wide ranging life experiences allow him to be a consummate singer/songwriter. He has the ability to write a tale about heartbreak as effortlessly as he can pen one about a carefree goodtime. That truth and authenticity is balanced by his infectious optimism and excitable personality.
A native of Houston, Morrow began playing guitar at a young age, but did not get serious about his music until attending college in Lubbock. Here, he was inspired by Texas songwriting greats like Robert Earl Keen and Townes Van Zandt. Spurred by this musical inspiration and a youthful vigor, Morrow moved to Austin in the early 90’s to build his own career. Amidst a sea of night clubs featuring line dancing and Nashville hat acts dominating radio playlists, Morrow set about creating personal music that harkened back to the heyday of Willie Nelson’s progressive country movement in the 70’s.
Through several years of breakneck touring that featured Morrow’s special brand of emotional and energetic live performances, he began to develop a large grassroots following. Coupled with the release of several successful independent albums and Morrow was really beginning to make a name for himself around Texas. By 1999, the music he was making with peers like Pat Green and Owen Temple was becoming a booming cottage industry and gaining nationwide notice. An acclaimed double album and a duets record with Green cemented Morrow’s place in Lone Star lore.
Yet, he was not satisfied. The intensity that was found in his hallowed live performances was spilling over into his personal life. The depths he reached while reclaiming his life made him a more well-rounded artist. Over the next several years, Morrow grew his sound by working and writing with dizzying array of successful songwriters and producers.
Now, an elder statesman of the Texas scene he helped create, his latest album Brand New Me showcases an artist in complete control and making some of the best music of his storied career. Music started Morrow’s journey and music has reinvigorated him. Behind these new songs and surrounded by a band of touring musicians among the best to be found anywhere, Morrow shows no signs of giving up his throne as one of the best Texas has to offer.
Brian Keane is as honest as they come. So honest, in fact, that at the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville he has been asked never to repeat his Americana Song of the Year “She Left Me for Jesus” (co-written with Hayes Carll). He debuted his criticism of Nashville songwriters (“I’ll Sing About Mine”) to a room full of… Nashville songwriters. “That was a little nerve-racking,” he laughs. “But it went over well. I get the impression they’re as tired of writing some of that stuff as we are of hearing it.” With his new collection of no-bull, straight from the heart songs with subjects ranging from being broke (“Living is Killing Me”), to being broke and in love (“Everything is Broken but My Heart”) to his well-worn experience in dive bars (“Spinning Wheels”), Brian Keane is winning over audiences everywhere — despite being honest enough to ruffle some feathers. Combine that with a sharp wit on -stage, a lyrical gift beyond his years, a badass band, and the courage to say exactly how he feels to anyone, anywhere and you have Brian Keane: a true artist about to make some huge waves.
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