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Dead Confederate front man Morris added the initial T to his name in releasing his debut solo album, Audition Tapes, because it adds a touch more of the personal element that so viscerally exposes the relationships from his hometown. ”You’re just whoever you are,” Morris says.
He uses well the thoughts swimming around in his head to spark that connection all musicians must foster with fans to make an impact as an artist. Drugs, their use, abuse and effects litter this solo debut like a true cathartic shedding of skin, and the issues identified bridge the gap between styles of music and breed of fans. Tinges of country round out the release, but the central theme on Audition Tapes appears in its related content. “This album does have a pretty strong theme to it,” he adds.
Morris admitts he didn’t realize the songs tied together quite so well until he found one that was “not the same theme that a lot of the songs were, about my hometown, and reminiscing on my youth in the hometown I grew up in.”
He continues, “If they’re conscious enough to listen to the album, the people some of the songs are about could potentially recognize themselves.”
The most striking aspect of Audition Tapes isn’t its theme, but rather the presentation of the ten songs as moments in time. Morris explains that he thought about using his four-track recorder to capture rough takes of the songs, giving it more of a demo feel.
“I just wanted to do a bare bones recording to fit the style of ‘Audition Tapes,’ but then we thought about doing something filmed where we play all the songs,” he says.
Every year Morris looks through the Georgia Trust’s Places In Peril list because he has always felt intrigued by this country and by Georgia, he says. The first filmed song to be released will be “Beauty Rest,” which was filmed at Rock House in Thompson, Georgia. It’s a rough-cut video that visualizes the fleeting moments we each need to capture. “The album and the videos are both from a specific place and time,” Morris says. “We get to raise awareness to something I think is important.”