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Album Review

Like jazzman Chet Baker (whom he sounds nothing like), folk-pop artist Bill Morrissey is a perfect example of a singer who manages to be quite expressive and charismatic despite the fact that he doesn't have much of a voice or much of a range. Morrissey's thin, fragile, cracking vocals can take some getting used to, but for those who have acquired a taste for them, Inside shows us just how poignant a storyteller he can be. The obscure singer/acoustic guitarist isn't one to run away from his vulnerability, and he wears it on his sleeve on such tales of disillusionment as "Long Gone" and "Everybody Warned Me." The thoughtful "Robert Johnson" is an ode to the Delta blues legend, while the title song (a tearjerker that employs Suzanne Vega on background vocals) finds a blue-collar man lamenting his inability to give his wife the comfortable life he'd hoped to. Not perfect but consistently enjoyable, Inside showed that Morrisey deserved to be better known.


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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