Chronicles abound of the troubadours who wandered Europe
in the middle ages. These wandering minstrels brought
news with them from place to place, often in the form of
lyrical poems, because they sang as well as played their
instruments to gain their bread and board. Some of that old
news still exists today in the form of the classical ballad. Are
they true stories? A few do have traceable histories, though
most were passed down only verbally—so perhaps yes,
perhaps no, perhaps partly true and partly embellished for
the sake of art. That art, like the ballads themselves, still
exists; and although the troubadour of lore is not so common
now as he was in the middle ages, he still exists as well, and
lives to share his tales through song.
Moro's songs in this collection are tales
as told by a modern
troubadour. Listening to them, we can find bits and pieces of
ourselves, as if somehow the minstrel knows our thoughts,
those secret places in the heart where the real person truly
lives. Human nature, after all, has hardly changed since the
earliest days of the first troubadour.
Listen to samples below.
Songs marked with ** are complete songs!
Moro has released several LPs and CDs of his classical and
neoclassical guitar music since the 1970s, but "Morosongs" is the
first time the Bodega Bay composer-musician has combined his vocals
with his guitar playing on an entire album.
Moro's vocals are a pleasant surprise. His voice is gentle but
passionate and it complements his fingerpicking on a collection of
22 original songs.
The first track is "The Man," a mysterious song about a man who wins
"a woman of consequence" at a carnival game of fortune. "Buckeye
Jim" is a bittersweet murder ballad. In "The Vagabond," he sings,
"He had to live so he could learn to love and love so he could learn
to live." He adapts John Masefield's famous poem to music in "Sea
Moro has been a guitarist, but not a singer, for most of his career.
"Back in the 1960s, people used to tell me, 'If you can play the
guitar like that, how dare you sing.' And when 'Vermouth Rondo' (and
other solo guitar recordings) started getting airplay and I started
earning royalties, it was clear they were right."
But he continued to write songs with lyrics and finally decided to
record a CD with vocals and guitar. "Morosongs: Tales in the Voice
of the Troubadour" is available exclusively from his Web site:
By CHRIS SAMSON
December 21, 2005
Rain Sun & Moon
Milady & I
Love's Song to a Star
Long Way to Ireland
Humpty Dumpty Sam
Robin the Troubadour
Love is Like the Breeze
Uncle Billy's Empire
Time is Kind
Morosongs is very different from my other CDs,
for it's entirely comprised of vocalized folksongs, while my other
CDs are guitar solos. For decades, since leaving the New Christy
Minstrels, I've been solely a composer/guitarist. But I've
continued to enjoy writing and singing folksongs in private. Over
the years, I accumulated quite a few self-penned songs in the
cupboard and sent some to Burl Ives who recorded three of
them. When he asked if I would write him a song just for an
upcoming concert at the National Boy Scout Jamboree, I wrote
Leafscout, and he performed it during his concert though he never
Twice Burl and I sat up all night, just the two of us -- passing his
guitar back and forth, playing and singing songs for each other. He
often encouraged me to record my songs, and I quietly affirmed, just
to myself, that I would certainly do that one day if only for him.
Finally I've gotten around to making that album (Morosongs), even if
it's too late for Burl to see and hear it.
moromusic, Rain Sun and Moon
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are trademarks of Budwick Music Company.