About John Morris
John Morris is a well-known lyricist, songwriter, composer, guitarist and bandleader who has worked in the San Francisco Bay area for most of his career. He began playing guitar with Curtis Lawson and The Unforgettables in San Francisco and appeared at the Checkmate Lounge, Dori’s 21 Club at the Embarcadero and the L&L Cabaret. He was a founding member of both the Holehouse Blues Band and the Broadway Blues Band, and he performed with James Brown, Albert King, Buddy Guy and many other famous artists. He has played guitar with Sista’ Monica Parker, both in concert and on her recordings, Lady Bianca in concert, at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and at the Spartan Blues Festival. He has performed with his original bands at the Monterey Blues Festival, the Haight Street Fair, and many other performance venues.
John began songwriting at the same time that he began performing professionally, composing for the groups that he played with and having his songs performed live and recorded for commercial release. As an outlet for his writing, he formed his own groups: Rhythm Box, an original, 9-piece R&B/funk group, and the John Morris Band, an original blues, jazz and R&B band. The John Morris Band’s first album Busy on You was released to radio and received international recognition, getting airplay in Europe, on the BBC in England, Australia, and throughout the U.S.. The John Lee Hooker Band performed some of his material in concert at the Playboy Jazz Festival and other venues. With the John Morris Band he recorded a second album of original material, entitled American Soul. Recently John has been writing in an Americana and country/rock.
John Morris writes songs and composes music in several related styles, including blues, jazz, soul/R&B, country, roots rock and Americana as well as jazz and country swing instrumentals. John excels in the art of “point writing,” composing words and music tailored to the style of an individual artist or project.
John studied for his degree with Ray Brown at Cabrillo College in Music Theory, Advanced Jazz Improvisation, Composition and Arranging. His favorite songwriters include Hoagie Charmichael, Willie Dixon, Hank Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Roger Miller, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell and John Hiatt. His favorite composers include Erik Satie, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, George Gershwin, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Wills.