Andrew Morris: A Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock ’n’ Roll
Lead singer Andrew Morris
Photo by Andrew Morris Band
Port St. Lucie-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Andrew Morris knows that modern country music isn’t your grandfather’s old Hank Williams records. Or even your father’s Hank Williams Jr. records.
Instead, his Andrew Morris Band mixes in rock and pop elements for a sound akin to such current country headliners as the Zac Brown Band and Chris Stapleton — and even covers pop and rock tunes by the likes of The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Marshall Tucker Band.
Blend in old-school country covers from Johnny Cash to Travis Tritt, along with originals from his band’s 2018 debut CD, “A Long Time Comin’,” and you have a modern blend made by open-minded country musicians equally influenced by the genre’s identifiable twang and rock’s inherent bang.
Morris, who has an expressive, old-soul voice despite being only in his early 30s, also has the veteran musicians to pull off such musical cross-pollination.
“I have Steve Siciliano on lead guitar,” Morris says. “He’s a great player who I’ve known for a long time. Michael Cheney is on bass and has been with the band since I joined. And Rui Pinto, who moved over from Europe in 2005, is on drums.”
Cheney’s creative bass lines and backing vocals have helped shape the band’s sound since its inception. Pinto has also worked with area country vocal star Samantha Russell. And Siciliano is well-known as both a local guitar slinger and technician via his Palm Beach Guitars repair service. All three are additionally capable singers.
Morris comes by his blend of influences naturally. The Jacksonville native heard his mother playing the harmonic pop of The Eagles and his father the cartoonish rock of KISS. And, yes, there were also the classic country tunes of his grandfather’s George Jones records.
As for his 11-year-old band, Morris says it’s the result of a series of fortuitous events.
“I actually kind of fell into it,” he says. “I was looking for a band to join in 2011, and this one had [singer/guitarist] David Ray at the time. But he was moving up to Nashville then, where he’s done very well since. So we set up a rehearsal, and things worked out, all because they needed a replacement for David.”
One of the group’s recent high-profile sets was on the country-themed first night of SunFest 2022 in downtown West Palm Beach, when it opened the event on the main Ford Stage, followed by touring stars Kidd G and headliner Sam Hunt.
“That was great,” Morris says. “It rained right up to the point when we started. Then the sun came out, and it was beautiful. The place was packed, and people were clearly there for a party. As soon as we started, they came running out from under the rain shelters.”
See the Andrew Morris Band from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 1 at Clematis By Night, 101 S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach (561-822-1515); from 9 p.m. to midnight Sept. 2 and 17 at Paddy Mac’s, 10971 Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens (561-691-4366); and from 8 to 11 p.m. Sept. 7 and 21 at the Square Grouper, 1111 Love St., Jupiter (561-575-0252). For further information, visit andrewmorrisband.com.