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Album Review

Bill Morrissey and Greg Brown's paths had been crossing on the folk circuit when, in 1993, they formed an acoustic duet in a Massachusetts studio for Friend of Mine. Brown clearly has more of a range than Morrissey, but when it comes to singing with plenty of warmth, humanity and feeling, neither are lacking. And the singers/guitarists clearly enjoy a solid rapport on this intimate collection of folk, folk-rock, country-folk and folk-blues. Their main focus is familiar material, and they pleasantly surprise by bringing everything from Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" and the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" to Hank Williams' "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" into an acoustic-oriented setting. Popularized by Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" is generally associated with roaring, high-volume electric Chicago blues, but Morrissey and Brown give the classic an unplugged, back-porch, Mississippi Delta-type flavor. Friend of Mine is an unpretentious date that followers of both artists will appreciate.


Born: 25 November 1951 in Hartford, CT

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Beginning in the mid-'80s, Bill Morrissey released a series of albums of original songs that startled and delighted the following he built up touring around the Northeast. By his second LP, North, he'd been picked up by the Philo division of Rounder Records. Morrissey sang in a surprisingly flexible, deep voice (somewhat reminiscent of Leon Redbone's croak, but more supple). His songs were full of humor and pathos, expressed in keenly observed details about small-town life, sometimes desperate, sometimes...
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Friend of Mine, Bill Morrissey
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