Furry and Fine
catalog-no. tx 2068
rock - 2002
"Jam rock" - what used to be a term not really respected by today's hip rock clientel is getting more and more popular. A quicksearch on the internet reveals a network of activities by jam rock fans and enthusiasts from tape trading to discussing every aspect of this genre with like-minded people. There is a human network of enthusiasts not yet recognized by a music industry that is getting progressively more hostile towards music. Jam rock fans are used to creating their own scene and have done so since the early '90s when the term was coined in the wake of a burgeoning live music scene for jam rockers in the US. This is a musical phenomenon that's getting more and more diverse and Mr. Morning's first album FURRY AND FINE is our reason for bringing up the topic.
Mr. Morning hails from Sweden and they add to a rock tradition that simply refuses to go away and die. Instead it has become more relevant for music fans all over the western world, whose needs are no longer served by a mainstream industry that is only concerned with packaging pop. In the pop world, there are probably not many A & R men left who have dealt with names like Moe., Blues Traveler, Medeski, Martin & Wood or Widespread Panic - or have they?
Swedes are people who like and live understatement. So you won't get to hear the five members of Mr. Morning raving about their band and their talents. "Organic music made by real people" is the band's credo. In the digital age this attitude is becoming more like an exception to the rule. The statement also alludes to one of the ideals of the jam bands: collectivity. Even the band's name Mr. Morning is connected with this highly emotional concept of conjuring up collective musical flights that inspire bands and audiences at the same time. Every time this happens, the imaginary "Mr. Morning" comes in and the collective identity of the band takes over. Proves that there is quite a sense of humor up North as well...
The band features a conventional rock line-up of guitars, bass, drums and percussion, but singer Ola Kyttä's harmonica adds a special blues flavor to the music like Ron "Pigpen" McKernan did in the glorious early days of the Grateful Dead. Like many other jam rockers, Mr. Morning like musical synthesis. Although they don't incorporate everything from bluegrass to free jazz - like many of their American contemporaries - there are various combinations of blues and reggae or Frank Zappa ("Willie The Pimp") and improvisational rock. There is an abundance of stylistic diversity in the music of Mr. Morning but everything is joined under the roof of a very homogenous sound. This sound has met many favorable comments from the Euro Deadheads scene and the band is booked for various European Deadhead conventions and concerts already. The band's camp is totally pleased about this developement, especially since the Grateful Dead have been most influential. In the early days of the jam rock phenomenon, bands often were confronted with the accusation for being copycats of the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Allman Brothers. These kinds of accusations have been impressively put to silence by successful genre bands like Phish, Widespread Panic or the Dave Matthews Band. Even in the more esoteric jazz circles the improvisational excursions of the jam rockers are more respected today than in the Dead's heyday ...(Jazz Is Dead).... There's a lot of commercial success in the jam rock world these days - much more than experts thought there would be just a while ago.
Mr. Morning are smart enough not to worry about rock's past or future too much. They mostly care about the here and now. And that's also the way their material is created: inventions with the live situation in mind. They are serious jammers -with the serious intent of having and bringing fun. It's the proverbial "good vibrations" that decide about the music's success or failure in the live context. To ban the magic of a live gig on a disc hasn't been attempted here - it's a tricky business anyway - but FURRY AND FINE is a good representation of what Mr. Morning are about at this point.
So, even if the immediate presence of an audience is missing, it's pretty obvious why Mr. Morning are considered to be an excellent jam rock band. It's "Go With the Flow" - the music flows. Some songs clock in at more than ten minutes. Older rockers may be inspired to reminisce, bringing back memories of summer nights and parties spent listening to music. Younger fans might discover a classic rock spirit in the music of Mr. Morning. These guys are about being human and real. They are relaxed and don't care about being fast and efficient. It's an honest band and honest music
See also: Mr. Morning's Homepage
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