The Garden Of Unearthly Delights – The Spiegeltent, Fri 26 Feb
Russell Morris has been around long enough now to be considered an Australian music icon. An ARIA Award winner, Hall Of Fame inductee, successful singer, writer and musician, he has endured the fickle world of entertainment to rise again to the top of the pile: an admirable feat for anyone in their 60s in a world so blindly adoring of youth.
With his terrific band, featuring Peter Robinson on lead guitar, Mitch Cairns on bass and John Creech on drums, Russell took us on a tasteful, intriguing and very enjoyable journey through some beautiful blues grooves, his favourite country feels and into the epic smash hits of the famous Molly Meldrum era.
Russell is a lovely storyteller, easily engaging the capacity audience with fascinating snippets from his past, and stories from the lives of the historical characters who inspired much of the ARIA Award-winning and Platinum-selling album Sharkmouth.
From that album, we were treated to Walk My Blues and the title track, about renowned Sydney thug and thief Thomas “Shark Jaws” Archer. Also The Ballad Of Les Darcy, telling of the young prize-fighter’s tragic persecution and untimely demise.
Russell’s most recent album, Red Dirt – Red Heart is the third and final of his brilliant trilogy of blues and roots albums about Australia’s landscape, history and most of all, its people. From this album we heard I Go Around, God Loves A Sinner, Lonesome Road and Cut You Loose.
Finishing the show with his crowd-pleasing hits from the ‘60s, Russell showcased his voice remarkably. In Wings Of An Eagle, The Real Thing, Hush and Sweet, Sweet Love Morris’ voice soared unwaveringly, with clarity and strength. The masterful playing and great vocal backing from the band elevated these much-loved songs into wonderful live versions no less thrilling than the highly-produced originals.
Russell Morris remains the real thing!