Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Bill Morrissey: The Man From Out of Town
I went into a record store the other day--yes, they still exist--and at the cash register spoke to the clerk (a job I once held myself), who mentioned that Amy Winehouse's CDs had all sold out. I asked if Bill Morrissey's CDs were selling out too, and she replied, "Bill Morrissey?", obviously thinking I was referring to the Smiths singer by the wrong name. I said, "Yeah, he's a folksinger," and she said, "Oh, probably not then, we don't have much of a folk section." Reminds me of something Bill once said in concert: "Folk music is to be endured, not enjoyed." Bill's music doesn't make you want to dance or sing along like Amy Winehouse's does. Bill's music makes you think. And that explains their relative notoriety: a lot more people would rather sing and dance than think. Sometimes I wish I was one of them.
Anyway, here are a couple more live MP3s of my two favorite songs by Bill. "Last Day of the Last Furlough" got its title from one of J.D. Salinger's best uncollected stories; in the story the characters are about to go off to war; I guess maybe that's how Bill saw love. "The Man From Out of Town" is, to me, the best example of Bill's ability to write short stories in the form of songs. If a tribute album gets done, Steve Earle should do "Last Furlough," and Springsteen was born to sing "Man From Out of Town."
Last Day of the Last Furlough (1/6/1990, Iron Horse, Northampton, MA)
Man From Out of Town (5/17/2001, Barnstormers Theatre, Tamworth, NH)