This Connecticut-based band offers up some New England warmth and a few cuddly canines.
The Kenn Morr Band’s sixth album, Worth Imagining brings a variety of instruments together to create a warm, soulful sound. Accordion, violin, harmonica, and mandolin flirt with guitar, piano, bass, and percussion. Morr’s deep, succulent voice (often accompanied by backing vocals) calls to mind folksingers like Richard Thomspon and John Prine. On the record, Morr spins ten poignant yarns about love, friendship, and loss. Despite its contemplative nature, Worth Imagining is earnest and uplifting. It may make you want to take a long drive into the sunset.
The ninth song on Worth Imagining is and ode to man’s best friend. The video features lots of cute dog photos and Morr playing guitar barefoot by a wood-burning stove.
As the songwriter and singer for the Kenn Morr Band, Kenn Morr makes a large contribution to this album. But boy, what a band he has surrounded himself with. Fantastic. Not only are these virtuoso musicians, they play extremely well together including incredibly beautiful and surprising vocal harmonies.
Multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi plays accordion, mandolin, bouzouki and more, Bob Gaspar is a drummer and percussionist on an arsenal of percussion instruments and Dan Hocott plays bass. Morr plays guitars (acoustic and electric) piano, keyboard and harmonica. Morr’s voice is not particularly strong but he knows how to make optimal use of it. And the special polyphonic singing the band creates produces a totally unique sound which is a pleasant surprise.
The magnificent arrangements of these excellent songs are beautiful. After a few spins you still hear new details. Surprisingly good.
'Worth Imagining' by The Kenn Morr Band is one of the purest folk records in a long time...
The Kenn Morr Band - Worth Imagining
There is a gentle approach to this homespun full-band folk music. Every sound has a careful touch as if they were handling egg baskets. This makes for music you can drift off with and relax as you absorb it. There are some nice guitar moves, harmonica, and backing vocals that stand out a bit, but the lead vocals are also soft and breathy - perhaps too much. Still, the feelings here are welcome when in the mood. Perhaps they understand this as their last song is entitled "Sunday Morning". This is not much like fellow New Yorker, Lou Reed, but it is good Sunday Morning music. It also works after a long, hard day at work.
Kenn Morr is a singer/songwriter from Colebrook, Connecticut and a leader of The Kenn Morr band. " Worth Imagining " is his 6th release. The album are consists of 10 equally well-penned tracks, done in americana / folk rock manner, with pleasant vocalization and distinct playings. Kenn Morr's lyrical occupation touches themes of love, loss, relationships, loneliness. Some of reviewers compare this author's legacy with Gordon Lightfoot's method of composing and performing, but I would add that hidden Van Morrison influences exists " here and there" too. But, as a author Mr. Moore knows how to create a fine melody, and his album is full of pleasant places...
Rating : 8 / 10
Kenn Morr is a singer / songwriter and leader of The Kenn Morr. His career has run continuously for several years, and "Worth Imagining" his current CD, is his sixth consecutive album. The CD's 10 tracks realistically reflect the author's aspirations and inner feelings. Morr's lyrics touch on topics such as love, relationships between the sexes, emotional losses. The musical elements of Morr's work is Americana and old school folk-rock. Kenn has coordinated playing technique and a veteran band. I could envision the singer Kenn Morr showing up in your "back yard" and doing quite well. Some reviewers compare his style of composition with that of Gordon Lightfoot. And to a large extent that is true, but I would add that the "hidden" effects of the famous Van Morrison are not negligible. However, Mr. Morr knows how to write a good composition, and to that end, "Worth Imagining" album has plenty.
Kenn Morr's list of influences include Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Graham Nash and especially Gordon Lightfoot. Inspired by these and other artists Morr has written and recorded his own music for many years. Worth Imagining is the baritone singer's sixth full-length album.
Morr moved from his birthplace of Long Island to Connecticut, where he formed his band and his songs are often a mix of self-perceived events and things he sees around him. Musically this singer songwriter is in about the same frame as his influences, and it is more pop and folk than country music. This album is a captivating and beautiful one. Morr's voice is hoarse, close and intimate in style with JJ Cale as it draws the listener close to him, a bit like a magnet. Morr accompanies himself on guitars, piano, keyboards and harmonica while Tom Hagymasi, Bob Gaspar and Dan Hocott round out the band. They play fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki, and accordion which gives the music much of it's sound. In addition are drums, djembe, congas, bongos , bass, vocal harmonies and a many other instruments, many of which are rather unusual and they come from all possible corners.
The ten songs are soft and melodious like the rocks and the undulating beauty of the waves on the album cover, and it's warm tones shapes the music. In addition, the material is fairly even, so to pick out a few favorite songs does not feel meaningful. They are more like chapters in a book.
På Kenn Morrs lista över influenser står Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Graham Nash och framförallt Gordon Lightfoot högst. Med inspiration från dessa och andra artister har Morr skrivit och spelat in sin egen musik i många år, och Worth Imagining är baritonsångarens sjätte fullängdare.
Han har flyttat från uppväxtorten Long Island till Connecticut där han bildade sitt band och hans sånger är ofta en mix av självupplevda händelser och sådant han ser omkring sig. Musikaliskt håller sig denne singersongwriter inom ungefär samma ramar som hans influenser, och det är alltså mer pop och folk än countrymusik The Kenn Morr Band bjussar på. Men det är småtrevlig, medryckande och skön sådan. Morr har en hes, nära och intim stämma i stil med J.J. Cales och den drar lyssnaren intill sig, lite som en magnet. Morr kompar sig sedan själv på gitarrer, piano, keyboard och munspel medan Tom Hagymasi, Bob Gaspar och Dan Hocott utgör bandet och trakterar fiol, mandolin, bouzouki, det dragspel som ger musiken här mycket av sitt sound, trummor, djembe, congas, bongos, bas, stämsång och en hel massa andra instrument, varav många är rätt ovanliga och kommer från jordens alla möjliga hörn.
De tio låtarna är mjuka och melodiösa, de gungar och böljar fram skönt som vågorna på skivomslaget, och det är värmande toner som formar dem. Dessutom är materialet tämligen jämnt, så att plocka ut några favoritlåtar känns inte meningsfullt. De är snarare som kapitel i en och samma bok. .
Kenn Morr is a singer-songwriter from Colebrook Connecticut (outside of Hartford.) "Worth imagining" is his sixth CD and the second with the great multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagymasi (accordion, mandolin, bouzouki, fiddle, dulcimer, melodica).
Kenn has been in the music field for decades and has been quite productive as "Worth Imagining" is his fifth CD since 2003. In addition to Hagymasi we hear Bob Gaspar on 13 different percussion instruments (including drums) and Dan Hocott on bass. Kenn plays guitars, piano, keyboards and harmonica. For 'Worth imagining' the band provides relaxed and delicious, mostly acoustic, Americana. Kenn's voice is not strong, but that is true of many singer-songwriters. It's the atmosphere that radiates throughout the CD along with Hagymasi's accordion. The songs are pleasant to listen to, and the lyrics are somewhat cryptic. Take the song "High & On Empty ', which contains the title of the CD: "So away you go on a warm spring wind. Next time around skip skid row, you've already been. The morning bird's awoken, hear her when she sings. Not a word is spoken, it's worth imagining." Not directly accessible and therefore interesting.
Worth imagining is an enjoyable Americana CD with its own style.
The Kenn Morr Band - Worth Imagining- Another gravel-voiced songwriter (nothing wrong with that!). Imaginative and varied instrumentation and nice under-stated harmonies. Good album - bad sleeve...
THE KENN MORR BAND ‘WORTH IMAGING’ (FLEETS COVE MUSIC/HEMIFRAN/SWEDEN IMPORT) American Singer/songwriter KENN MORR is of course the leader of the band THE KENN MORR BAND. The album released under this moniker is filled with acoustic tingled Folksy Roots music that clearly draws influences from BOB DYLAN, CROSBY, NASH, STILLS and YOUNG, VAN MORRISON and GORDON LIGHTFOOT. Fans of that Singer/Songwriter style will definitely like this a lot. This is what I would call ‘campfire-music’, where everybody is invited to join and sing-a-long. Well done and more info at: http://www.kennmorr.com/
I remember as if it happened yesterday when Connecticut-based singer-songwriter Kenn Morr wrote to me after our positive review of his album "Move On" in 2008. He sent a stack of CDs to be given away to Roots Time readers.
Again we have the honor and pleasure to inform you about his latest album "Worth Imagining" (see below). Morr’s sixth studio album is a good album, so let that be clear immediately. Under the name 'The Kenn Morr Band' this CD brings ten new, compositions. Kenn is accompanied by Tom Hagymasi (violin, mandolin, accordion, piano, etc.), Bob Gaspar (drums, percussion) and Dan Hocott (bass). Kenn Morr plays acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboards and harmonica.
This artist has a gentle but compelling voice he uses to sing over his poetic stories accompanied by soft, mellow music. When he sings in whispers, I constantly think about Elliott Murphy with whom Kenn Morr has more than his voice in common. The songs themselves seem a bit like the work of Elliott Murphy with engaging, intimate stories about the things of life such as his love, relationships, and loss events that have made an impression on the artist.
Extremes are not on this album, but each song has its specific character and story. "Lighthouse" is a song that I've often played on my radio show. At home I listen to the opening track "Bad Days" and "A Little Time". But as I said before: every song is of the same high quality and standards. It is highly enjoyable to listen to this new album from The Kenn Morr Band.
Kenn Morr’s voice will always remind me of Elliott Murphy. Both artists sing magnificent stories about issues that move them in life like love, loss and complex relationships. Each and every song on his 6th album ‘Worth Imagining’ is of the highest quality and makes this new record without any doubt worthwhile to be added to your own music collection.
Ik herinner me nog als gebeurde het gisteren toen de uit Connecticut afkomstige singer-songwriter Kenn Morr mij naar aanleiding van onze positieve recensie van zijn album “Move On” in 2008 een mailtje toestuurde met wat buiten properties vallende dankbetuigingen, gevolgd door een stapeltje cd’s van “Move On” die we onder onze Rootstime-lezers mochten verdelen.
Ook nu hebben we opnieuw de eer en het genoegen om u mee te laten genieten van zijn nieuwste plaat “Worth Imagining” (zie beneden). En dit 6e studioalbum van Kenn Morr is alweer een goede plaat, laat dat dus meteen duidelijk gesteld worden. Onder de naam ‘The Kenn Morr Band’ brengt hij op deze cd tien nieuwe, eigen composities waarbij hij instrumentaal begeleid wordt door Tom Hagymasi (viool, mandoline, accordeon, piano, etc.), Bob Gaspar (drums, percussie) en Dan Hocott (bas). Zelf speelt Kenn Morr op akoestische en elektrische gitaren, piano, keyboards en mondharmonica.
Deze artiest beschikt over een zachte maar boeiende stem waarmee hij zijn poëtische verhalen zingt onder begeleiding van zacht gespeelde muziek. Als hij zo fluisterend zingt, dan moet ik telkens weer denken aan Elliott Murphy met wie Kenn Morr meer dan zijn stem gemeen heeft. Ook de songs zelf lijken wel wat op het werk van Elliott Murphy met boeiende, intimistische verhalen over de dingen des levens zoals daar zijn liefde, relaties, verlies en gebeurtenissen die indruk op de artiest hebben gemaakt.
Echte uitschieters staan er niet op dit album, maar elke song heeft zijn specifieke karakter en verhaal. “Lighthouse” is een nummer dat ik zeker nog vaak zal gaan draaien tijdens mijn legendarische weekendjes dj-en thuis en ook openingstrack “Bad Days” en “A Little Time” zullen daarbij af en toe nog wel eens de revue passeren. Maar zoals eerder al gezegd: elke song is van diezelfde hoogstaande kwaliteit op deze zeer aangenaam beluisterbare nieuwe cd van ‘The Kenn Morr Band’.
In een plattelandsstadje, in de Amerikaanse staat Connecticut, woont singer-songwriter Kenn Morr. Hij houdt van een rustieke omgeving met ruisende beekjes, een entourage die we ook weerspiegeld zien in zijn muziek. Zijn laatste en inmiddels zesde album heeft als titel “Worth Imagining”. Kenn is een meesterlijke songschrijver en beschikt over een zeer aangenaam stembeluid. Zijn begeleidingsband, waarmee hij al zeven jaar samenwerkt, brengt zijn muziek tot leven. Je hoort de invloeden terug van helden uit zijn verleden zoals Bob Dylan, Paul Simon en vooral Gordon Lightfoot.
Singer-songwriter Kenn Morr lives in a country town in the U.S. in the state of Connecticut in a rustic setting with rushing streams, an entourage that we see reflected in his music. His latest (and now sixth) album is titled "Worth Imagining". Kenn is a masterful songwriter with a very pleasant vocal tone. His backing band brings his music to life. You can hear the influences of his past heroes such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and especially Gordon Lightfoot.
The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground
A Long Island native now living in rural Connecticut, Morr has absorbed the community spirit and simpler life style into his songs, acoustic soulful Americana sung in a soft, whispery style that conjures thoughts of Dylan, Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Steve Forbert and, at times, even Mark Knopfler.
It's a warm, intimate sound, the melodies flecked out with mandolins, dulcimer, accordion, fiddle and keyboards on songs that talk of making choices (Standin' Still), fighting against the everyday odds (Higher Ground, Spinning Wheel), ageing (Another Year), holding on in the face of life's storms (Restless Wind, Gone) and never letting your dreams grow too old to remember (Fly Free).
His lyrics are peppered with images of change, of leaving things behind to find something more soothing to the soul, and that's pretty much the effect the music has, whether he's plugging into the backwoods folk blues of The Jewel or shuffling on the jerky rhythms of Spinning Wheel. One for those cold nights when you want to feel the world still holds a place for you. Morr, please.
Real Roots Cafe' - Holland
The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground
In een plattelandsstadje, in de Amerikaanse staat Connecticut, woont singer-songwriter Kenn Morr. Hij houdt van een rustieke omgeving met ruisende beekjes, een entourage die we ook weerspiegeld zien op zijn vijfde album Higher Ground. In een serene, bijna intieme sfeer speelt hij en zijn begeleidingsband, tien fluweelzachte folksongs, die je aanvankelijk vanwege lispelende zang, mijmerende melodieën en lieflijke instrumentale behandeling, gelijk wilt afserveren. Doorluisteren loont echter, met als gevolg dat gapen in genieten overgaat. Je ontdekt heel langzaam de naturelle schoonheid van de muziek, dankzij een veelheid aan voornamelijk akoestische instrumenten. Steunend op het kalme ritme van drums en bas, zijn het gitaren, mandoline, bouzouki, accordeon, dulcimer, cajon, piano, Afrikaanse duimpiano(?) conga’s en de mooi meerstemmige zang die de liedjes een heel mild karakter bezorgen. Harmonie is zo te horen in alles het sleutelbegrip geweest, welke sfeer door de The Kenn Morr Band met een haast achteloze vanzelfsprekendheid wordt overgebracht. Dat mag misschien niet erg spannend klinken, maar steeds meer heb ik me met toenemend plezier, aan deze 45 minutendurende manier van onthaasten overgegeven (Huub Thomassen)
Real Roots Cafe' - Holland
The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground
In a country town in the U.S. state of Connecticut, lives singer-songwriter Kenn Morr. He likes his rustic settings with rushing streams, an entourage that we see reflected on his fifth album, Higher Ground. In a serene, almost intimate atmosphere he and his band play ten velvety folk songs. You initially hear hushed vocals, brooding melodies and gentle instrumental treatment, similar to afserveren. But Listening pays off. You discover slowly the native beauty of the music, thanks to a multitude of mainly acoustic instruments. Drawing on the calm rhythm of drums and bass are the guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion, dulcimer, cajon, piano, African thumb piano (?) Congas and beautiful vocal harmonies. This delivers a very mild character to the songs. Harmony is the key notion and the mood of The Kenn Morr Band transmitts almost a casual naturalness. That might not sound very exciting, but I have increasingly had the pleasure of listening to this 45 minute CD and have used it as a way to relax.
Sunday 16, 2011, January
Belgium Website Ranks The Kenn Morr Band's "Higher Ground" among the "Best of 2010"
The Kenn Morr Band's new CD "Higher Ground" is ranked among the "Best CDs of 2010" 0n Belgium's American Music Homestead site : http://americanmusicbelgium.homestead.com/recommendedalbums2010page1.html
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The Kenn Morr Band - Higher Ground
By Geraint Davies - United Kingdom
THE KENN MORR BAND: HIGHER GROUND - "Another laid-back vocalist - He almost whispers his songs, but very appealing. Well played, with interesting use of instrumentation and really good harmonies. Favourite: 'Higher Ground' itself."
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Rootstime Magazine, Belgium by Valsam
-“The fifth album of Kenn Morr is called ‘Higher Ground’ and contains a secret treasure, true jewelry with ten twinkling pearls that he sings in his typical laid back and almost whispering style. Our advice: buy this record and enjoy it for yourself as many times as you desire. It’s absolutely worthwhile!”
– www.rootstime.be -
It was for us a great pleasure to review the new and fifth studio album from Kenn Morr. The album "Higher Ground" was released under the group name "The Kenn Morr Band" with contributions of Kenn’s band consisting of strings virtuoso Tom Hagymasi, bassist Dan Hocott and drummer / percussionist Bob Gaspar who added great value to songs which are treasures.
Ten new original compositions adorn this album which, like Kenn's previous album, contains very catchy, uplifting songs. Like with the previous album Kenn is immediately reminiscent of Elliott Murphy. We do not know if Kenn Morr knows his voice and music are so closely linked to the music of the troubadour, but he might agree to give Elliott Murphy his songs because they could be included in the repertoire of this international star.
Kenn Morr is mainly influenced by artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Gordon Lightfoot and that's evident when you hear the songs on "Higher Ground". The origin of these songs are Kenn’s acoustic guitar and they are exquisitely dyed by the brilliant instrumentation of the band, especially the violin and mandolin sounds of Tom Hagymasi.
In addition to being a talented musician Kenn is a husband and the father of two young sons. Music seems to be the thread in the family as you can picture Kenn in his house somewhere on the acoustic guitar strumming. That is where the songs on the new CD "Higher Ground" seem to come from.
In conclusion, our personal favorite songs:" Standin 'Still', title track "Higher Ground", "Restless Wind", "Another Year", "Things I've Done" and the wonderful capstone "Fly Free". Laid back sung, almost whispered gems that make us conclude that you should sample the album 'CD Baby's website and you will make the decision to have Kenn Morr’s Higher Ground in your homes so you can enjoy as often as you like.
Kenn Morr Band to return to Arbor Park
Ellington - Kenn Morr returns to Ellington for a free concert on July 31. Since the last time Kenn Morr played in Ellington, he has recorded not one, but two new CDs. In fact, the latest effort - which is still nameless - is so new that Morr still refers to the previous album - “Higher Ground,” which came out in May 2010 - as his “new” album.
Morr said an “interestingly strange and difficult” number of events in his personal life led to the writing and recording of the newer disc – in part, as a means of therapy – which was a quick turnaround in itself, considering that it usually takes close to two years for the entire process.
“There's not a central theme,” Morr said, adding that the loss of his mother as well as his sound engineer in the same year were events that stirred up things inside of him.
“What I do to cope is write, so I started writing, and writing a lot,” he said.
Those personal songs, however, won't be among those heard when Morr plays at Arbor Park on July 31, as part of the Summer Concert Series, because the recordings aren't available yet and the band hasn't rehearsed them yet.
“You go and record them, that's one thing,” he said. “Then you have to go and learn how to play them – it's kind of funny.”
So, the cuts from “Higher Ground” will be central to the July 31 show, along with some earlier pieces.
“We're doing 100 percent my material,” Morr said, “with stuff off of my five CDs to date.”
Morr said he has noticed, especially at his outdoor summer shows, that his music has a wide appeal.
“We get anywhere from young kids hanging out by the stage or up dancing on the green, up to people in their 80s, and everywhere in between,” he said. “People of all ages seem to dig it.”
Morr, who is from Colebrook, Conn., said Ellington has always been a special place for him, and is a town where he has been well-received.
“I love going there, and being there,” he said. “I just love the area.”
He added that one year his Ellington show met with a rainstorm and had to be moved to the Ellington High School auditorium, where about 30 people attended.
“We just had a magical night, even though there was only a handful of people there,” he said. “That made us look forward to coming back and playing again the next year. Somehow that handful of people in that room made it feel like there was 3,000 people in the audience. We saw what the people were made of.”
The Kenn Morr Band plays July 31, starting at 6 p.m. at Arbor Park. The show is free, although donations to the Parks and Recreation Department will be accepted.