After two top charting country singles in 2011, Craig Morrison returns with his self-titled long player jam-packed with hits and guaranteed to cement him as one of the Australian country musicians to watch. The first two singles released from Craig's new album smashed their way into the Australian charts, with Hot Kinda Love getting into the Top 30 on CMC and Fences searing into the Top 5 of the Australian Country Tracks Top 30. This is a pretty impressive coup for a musician who straddles both sides of the country fence, basing himself in Nashville but acknowledging his roots firmly in the Australian scene.
With Fences still climbing up the charts, Craig's highly anticipated self-titled album will certainly earn him more fans and acclaim around Australia. Craig joins a list of Australian country artists, including The McClymonts and O'Shea, who are breaking into the US market by maintaining a base in Nashville. Major US radio consultants are already calling his new record a great fit. The album, which features legendary ex-pat and Grammy nominated producer Mark Moffatt (Keith Urban), is also due for a joint release via GMV Nashville in the States, followed by Aristo Media servicing Craig's single Fences to US radio in April.
It may sound like all this is happening fast for this impressive musician, but Craig has long been performing around Australia, earning his stripes locally. Harking from music royalty, Craig has been treading the boards of the industry since he was a youngster. His father, Lucky Starr, who is dubbed as a founding member of Australian pop and recognised as the first artist to record -I've Been Everywhere' and make it a #1 hit on the Aussie charts. Lucky often took his son on stage, bringing him up on a solid diet of performing. It was a natural progression for Craig to move into music as he became an adult, but initially he pushed himself in another genre direction entirely, forming pop-rock band DeMont in the 1980s and releasing hits such as -Strange World' and -I Want Your Body'. This took Craig and his band mates from pub stages to stadiums, seeing them tour alongside the likes of Mötley Crüe and securing a record deal with the legendary Alberts.
Yet country music was always in Craig's blood. He felt a resonance with the genre, from a perspective of writing and performing, and post-DeMont success, he found himself dabbling in writing country songs. His country album release -Heaven Knows' under the guise of Craig Morrison Little Cowboys was well-received by the industry and this only further cemented Craig's determination to carve a niche for himself in the genre. Moving to Nashville seemed like the next natural step and he has managed to combine both his Australian influences and his US experiences to create an album which will appeal to audiences in both markets. The album itself is a direct representation of where Craig is at in his career, his musical and life experiences to date. 'This album of songs best showcases my singing ability, creativity as a new writer and my performance level as a contemporary artist today," Craig says. 'I wanted the album to have a fun, up-tempo feel. As time evolved, I found the album's natural progression, describing my journey with music and life, keeping a positive preference towards how I feel about love, and dealing with overcoming life's challenges, and winning."
Review: The self-titled Craig Morrison album provides a collection of dynamic country rock tracks and I can guarantee that even if you are not the typical country music fan, Craig Morrison's contemporary take on country rock will have all audiences interested especially as every song on this album is beautifully written by a host of lyrically talented performers including Morrison himself.
My favourite track is Just Another Sundown (the first track on the CD) which is a skillfully written song about the journey of love by Robert Eillis Orral, Angelo and Steven Lee Olsen and performed by Craig Morrison – this song takes you to that special place, where you can remember all those certain moments in love; all of which is enforced with Scott Vestal on the banjo.
Check out our interview with Craig Morrison for Fences, here: Femail.com.au/craig-morrison-fences-interview