-Song title: ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’-
-Artist: Kendra Morris-
-Featured in the Trailer for: “Dead Man Down” (Opens: 3-8-13)-
Quick Bio – Very few female artists come out of south Florida, much less St. Petersburg where the average age is 60, so it’s encouraging to see a story like Kendra Morris’. Granted, she moved to NYC in 2003, but her roots from the Tampa/St. Pete area will never change, thus giving her a different background to draw inspiration from. Roots that came directly from her parents, both of which that played and sung all over the Southeast. I guess it was somewhat engrained in her when she started playing and singing in her bedroom closet with a karaoke machine and cassette tapes. So when she finally broke away and moved to NYC, she of course wound up recording her first EP in a tiny closet with only her guitar and eight-track recorder in hand. If that’s doesn’t spell unique I don’t know what does, as very artists have a sound like Kendra’s. Her voice is soulful, yet powerful leaving the listener to wonder what might come next. Maybe that’s because of her parents or maybe it’s because most of the music she listened to early on came from greats like Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. But, either way she’s something different, which is why it was so easy to like her version of the Pink Floyd classic, ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ when watching the new trailer for “Dead Man Down.”
Plain and simple, Kendra has used her background to not only help develop her own sound, but take those harmonies and work them into her own tracks with intertwining threads of melody. As Kendra has said, “I’d been harmonizing with my mom since I was a little girl, ’cause my mom’s a singer, so I’ve always had a good ear for that.” And after learning the guitar with her Dad’s help, she began writing her own songs with the dream of being a solo artist, essentially moving away from the whole group thing. While performing in and out of NYC, Kendra met producer Jeremy Page, who she formed a partnership with and a year later she was being recognized for her songwriting, even winning the ‘Holy Prize,’ which rewards singer-songwriters whose talents honor the legacy of Buddy Holly. Well for Morris, her talents are only just beginning to surface, so much so that she has yet to give up her bartending gig on the weekends. As Morris has said, this is journey and its one she intends to not give up on given all the experiences that got her here and all the experiences that have yet to come. And this past summer, she and Page completed her debut album Banshee, another piece to this so-called journey, one that I feel is far from over.
Pink Floyd Effect – As far as classic rock goes, it doesn’t get much better than Pink Floyd, a UK band that took a genre like rock & roll and spun it on its head. Progressive in nature, it’s hard to duplicate the sound of Pink Floyd, which finally stopped playing after 40 years in 1995. That’s some run and given how that time period crosses a few generations, a lot of aspiring musicians have been influenced by the English rock band. So, it’s really no surprise that an artist like Kendra Morris chose one of Pink Floyd’s songs to cover. Frankly, I don’t know why more artists don’t cover their songs given how dynamic of a sound they can create from the amazing melodies. And Morris, who is set to release an entire album of cover songs, chose the classic “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” as her first single, the same one heard in the trailer for “Dead Man Down.” This song actually has nine parts to it if you want to get technical, but on the Wish You Were Here album is split between two tracks and Morris basically took a little of each to make her own version taking any listener on an emotional journey. ~ Excerpts taken from kendramorris.com, npr.org and Wikipedia.com
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