When singer/songwriter Morgan Evans released his self-titled debut album on March 14, it was the culmination of a musical journey that began when he started his first band at the age of thirteen.
It’s a journey that has seen the Novocastrian tour with international superstars like Taylor Swift and Alan Jackson, play to over 50,000 people in Nashville at the world’s biggest country music festival and build a large, devoted following as he’s played the length and breadth of his native land.
In 2013, Morgan was awarded the CMC New Oz Artist of the Yearaward at the CMC Music Awards. The award was fan voted and solidified his status as one of the hottest young performers in Australian country. He followed this up with a record three wins at the 2014 awards – Oz Artist of the Year, Male Oz Artist of the Year and Australian Video of the Year.
After hitting big with his debut single, the Newcastle written and Nashville recorded ‘Big Skies,’ Morgan immediately made his mark on the Australian musical landscape – with a sound that fused the contemporary country of Keith Urban with the melodic rock of the Foo Fighters, fuelled by a unique passion and energy all Morgan’s own. His music is driven by an optimism shaped by life’s bumpy journey, a faith in the power of love and hard work to overcome the obstacles we all face everyday.
After seeing Morgan whip a festival crowd into a frenzy with his charismatic live presence, Warner Music offered him a recording contract and soon Morgan was in the studio with Golden Guitar winning producer Matt Fell in Sydney, recording his debut hit EP – the acclaimed Live Each Day, released in 2012.
After recording ‘Freedom Like This,’ the only song on his Live Each Day EP that he didn’t write, Morgan met the song’s composer – Nashville-based ex-pat Aussie guitarist and songwriter Jedd Hughes, who had previously collaborated with Keith Urban, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krauss. The two formed an instant musical connection and soon Morgan enlisted Jedd to produce his second EP While We’re Young, which yielded multiple #1 hits, including ‘Carry On’.
It’s a musical partnership that has continued on Morgan’s debut album, again recorded in Nashville, with an all-star group of Nashville A-list musicians.
“To hear guys who played on the songs that inspired me to become a musician in the first place, playing on my songs, blew my mind,” said Morgan. “It reminded me of why I was doing this in the first place and really inspired me to take my vocals and guitar playing on the album to the next level”.
The songs that make up Morgan Evans are the result of a relentless songwriting schedule for almost a year that took Morgan to Nashville and back, and saw him tap into the deepest parts of himself.
“I wrote a lot of songs over the last year and through the process we’ve come up with an album that talks about who I am and how I live my life, keeping that childhood heart beating through the ups and downs of life. This album is me, and that’s why I called it ‘Morgan Evans’.”
Morgan wrote eleven of the twelve tracks – some on his own, some with local artists and many with A-list Nashville writers.
The album tells the story of perseverance through life’s toughest blows by holding on to childhood innocence. From the thrill of infatuation in ‘I Wanna Go’, the deep devotion of ‘Love You Home’ and the seductive ‘Make You Feel Like A Woman’ to the romantic turmoil and betrayal in lead single ‘One Eye For An Eye’ and opening track ‘Like A Tornado’, the glories and heartbreaks of love are laid soulfully bare.
The album also explores the complexities of a toxic romance and a dream of a better world as Morgan showcases his highest and lowest ebbs, including ‘Childhood Heart’ – Morgan’s manifesto on life.
The final tracks are the high-octane rocker ‘Best I Never Had’ and his take on the Guy Clark classic ‘The Cape’, another story of the childhood spirit. Our own country and roots star Kasey Chambers provides vocals on the song.
The album was release on March 14, in the midst of an exciting period for Morgan that included shows with US hitmaker Gretchen Wilson with a main stage set at the massive CMC Rocks the Hunter 2014 festival at the Hope Estate. The album immediately shot to #1 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart and the ARIA Country Album Chart and debuted at #20 on the ARIA Mainstream Album Chart. With his profile rising to new heights both at home and internationally, 2014 is becoming yet another massive leap forward in Morgan’s incredible musical journey.