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Bill Morrissey: The Essential Collection

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iTunes Review

It may be a cliché to compare a singer/songwriter's work to short story writing—but Bill Morrissey was a published novelist as well as a songsmith, so the comparison is more apropos than usual. With his Mississippi John Hurt–influenced fingerpicking style and grizzled-old-prospector voice, Morrissey gave every tune he touched a singular sound. This collection covers almost his entire career and captures him at his best. Morrissey crafted deceptively simple vignettes of blue-collar life ("Barstow," "Small Town on the River") and humble, everyday epiphany ("Handsome Molly") in plainspoken language with brief poetic flurries, making it all sound effortless.

Customer Reviews

Bill Morrissey: The Essential Collection

A large cup full of Morrissey's wry, regional songwriting froth that fills all the needs.

A Master Songwriter

Bill Morrissey's talent for evoking emotion in a song is unparalleled. This collection provides a good foundation of some of his greatest songs. He can make you laugh out loud "Letter from Heaven", sigh, "Birches" and darn near cry "These Cold Fingers". His reconfiguration of the folk classic "Handsome Molly" provides descriptive imagery, "I park my cab on Water Street, waiting for a fair, watching young girls in their first heels, step like colts across the square . . ." If you enjoy great songs, with lyrical depth and singing that is emotionally driven, I urge you to bring Bill into your collection.

Short Stories

Each Morrissey song is like a short story and his voice, a unique instrument, conveys the characters and their stories quite effectively. Recommended.


Born: November 25, 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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Bill Morrissey: The Essential Collection, Bill Morrissey
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Customer Ratings

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