Hailing from the Washington D.C. area, The Morrison Brothers play an original style of country where the music truly speaks for itself. With numerous songwriting awards and a relentless touring schedule, The Morrison Brothers have proven themselves to be a premier act in the D.C. area and beyond. The band is currently promoting their single “Little Miss Whiskey” from their latest release State of the Union. Front man Willie Morrison took the time to talk about the single, what’s ahead and more.
The Morrison Brothers have been together since 2007. Tell us how the members came together to pursue music as a profession.
We are all from the D.C. area and have all been doing music since a young age. I went out to California for college and played venues out there with my brother. When we went into the studio to record and heard how the songs were coming together, we knew we had to get a band together. I ended up leaving California and moving back east and that’s when the Morrison Brothers were formed. There are two sets of brothers in the band, my brother [Truman] and myself and the Nolan brothers [Matt and Kevin]. We also have Dave Benson [guitar, bass] and Alyson Gilbert [vocals].
The band mix genres for a unique and appealing sound. In fact, your music has been described as “if Van Morrison, O.A.R. and the Eagles had a baby.” That’s a pretty big compliment.
It is definitely a big compliment. To have someone say that about us, well you can’t argue with that, you know. I would say that we are definitely in the country vein, but we all draw on a vast well of influences from all genres that contribute to our sound.
Do you have any other specific influences or inspirations?
The Nolan brothers are jazz guys, as well as big fans of Little Feat. My brother and I grew up listening to The Allman Brothers and Merle Haggard. We were very lucky because when we were kids, our parents would take us to see all different kinds of live music every weekend.
State of the Union, your third album, was released in 2013. The album has varied tunes from southern rockers to ballads to party songs which highlights the band’s diversity. Did you do all of the songwriting?
Yes, we wrote everything on that album. Songwriting is a group effort; we all respect one another, with regards to songwriting, and we sort of evenly split it. Maybe one or two people will bring the majority of a song to the table, but then the rest of us sit down and help finish it up or tweak it a bit. It's kind of a neat way to do it.
A standout track on the record is “Ain't No Stopping You” which has a Matchbox 20/Santana vibe.
That song is a curveball; we didn’t really know what we were going with that one. It has that Santana/Spanish vibe going on there, as well as that long solo instrumental. It’s a song we just really enjoy and is really fun to play live.
Your current single, “Little Miss Whiskey,” is garnering airplay in multiple cities and states including Nashville, Georgia and Kentucky. What’s the story behind that song?
That song came together quickly. It is just a really feel good, have a good time song.
"Little Miss Whiskey" has really helped us grow as a band. We had a few other songs that maybe got played locally on a midnight show, but “Little Miss Whiskey” is the first song of ours that is legitimately getting played on the radio in different cities. When we heard it on the radio, it was weird, but really cool. It pumped us up because that had never happened before.
In the last few years, you have had the opportunity to open for Merle Haggard and Tim McGraw. Those must have been incredible experiences.
It has been so much fun. We have been so lucky to meet people who have inspired us, like Merle Haggard, and to watch them perform. We also opened for Leon Russell, Frankie Ballard and Maggie Rose. They are all extremely talented and professional. We really learned a lot from them.
What can someone expect from a live show?
We are very proud of what we do. You can expect to see a band, in every sense of the word. When you see us play, it’s impossible not to see that we have been playing together forever. We have a lot of energy and we feed off of each other's energy. We have a great time and hope the audience feels that and has a good a time as we are.
What are The Morrison Brothers plans for the remainder of year?
We will play some local shows. In the summer, we travel a lot in the South and Midwest, but in the fall and winter we play mostly within a certain radius, like NY, DE, and PA. We will also be writing a lot and hope to have new music, an EP, out within the coming months.
Finally, I always like to know if there is one cd released recently that you cannot stop listening to.
We have two, both young artists who have an old school country vibe to them. We’re listening to Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music and Ashley Monroe’s Like A Rose. We just love those albums.
Watch the video for "Little Miss Whiskey" below
For more information visit their official website
Find The Morrison Brothers on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter