Our Lady of The Tall Trees now up on CDBaby and iTunes! Get yours now!
The highly anticipated new record from Cahalen Morrison & Eli West is on its way! It’s all recorded, waiting on post production. The cover art, pictured above, is an incredible linocut by the immensely talented West Virginia artist, Mike Costello. Release is set for late August, early September! Release show is set for August 29th, at the Triple Door, in downtown Seattle. Get your tickets HERE now!
Shows with Kelly Joe Phelps comin’ up! March 24th at the Green Frog in Bellingham, Washington, March 25th at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, Washington, and March 29th at the Alberta Street Theater in Portland, Oregon! Poster by Matt Ballew.
Tonight, a new documentary on me and my great-grandfather, the Scottish Gaelic poet and bard, Murchadh Moireasdan (Murdo Morrison) airs on BBC Alba! It was shot during my first visit to my ancestral Isle of Lewis, off of the north western coast of Scotland. You can read about it, see other air dates, and find other info about the documentary.
Exciting news! Coming up in March, I’ve got a few shows alongside the inimitable Kelly Joe Phelps, each doing some solo tunes, and some tunes together. March 25th at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, Wasington, and March 29th at The Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon. Tickets will be available soon, and keep you eye out for more shows!
Check out the duo website at cahalenandeli.com
Cahalan and Eli are making music that the world needs.”
“This is quite extraordinary!”
-Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“Eli and Cahalen sing about all of it. No note is left unreflected upon.
They understand that when it comes to music, we are all on the receiving side,
even when we are the ones playing it.”
“There’s a subtle joy to be taken from the description of them given on their website as a “new-old time duo” but, to go one better, and listen to their album, “The Holy Coming of the Storm”, you may realise that Cahalen Morrison and Eli West have made quite an important album. Why important? Well, history shows us that some of the best-loved songs known to have been recorded have been the work of two people. In the Seattle-based pairing of Cahalen Morrison and Eli West, there appears to be a musical understanding not paralleled since the days of Flatt & Scruggs. For bluegrass enthusiasts, this album is a must-have. Provided that they continue in the manner which they’ve started, this act surely could attain success on an endless horizon. A total joy from the beginning to the end.”
-Peter McGee, Bluesbunny Music Reviews
“In just a few lines I can hear a country twang, a bit of the high Celtic sound, and it really sounds thoroughly American, the mixing of different musical traditions.”
-Jen Hitt, Bluegrass Country, WAMU 88.5
“The album builds around, at least in my mind, the tightly wound tensions and rhythms of the title track; a coming storm. In parts of the country, not Seattle, storms build in the same way and can be seen coming from the distance, bringing an unnerving and ominous feeling as skies redden and darken and the world battens down the hatches. In those final quiet moments before it lets loose this album was born and lives. There’s a sparseness too it, an echoing quality that would sound marvelous in Chaco Canyon.
I will also say this, often acoustic old-time albums are not perfectly played. Notes are missed, or bent up when they should have gone down. Harmonies waiver from the melody, banjo rolls drift momentarily out of sync. Sometimes this is charming and fun in a raucous sort of way. Other times, it is a distraction. On “The Holy Coming Of The Storm” there is not a missed note, a false line, or a haphazard slip left behind. This records is an intentional one and all the better for the care these men took polishing it. It shines.”
Iaan Hughes, The Real Mr. Heartache
“One gets the feeling that either of these musicians could step forward and take over with emphatic, egocentric playing and singing. Instead, they seem to have a profound reverence for the music and a considered appreciation for the whole of their endeavors.”
-Dustin Ogdin, No Depression
“Some wonderful stuff here,”
-Frank Hennessy, BBC Radio Wales
“In a city and era that can seem crowded with ‘genericana,’ there’s no chance of Morrison & West getting lost amongst the new crop of beards in Ballard. Because when someone says Morrison & West are of another era, they’re not talking about warm Laurel Canyon harmonies; they’re talking dust-bowl dirges, lightening-quick finger-picking on a clawhammer banjo, and twang that recalls tintype portraits. Morrison & West’s vocals are more like Dan Tyminski, than Graham Nash.”
-Abbey Simmons, Sound On The Sound
“A really superb album with a real depth of emotion in the performance that you don’t always get in this type of music. Yes, they’ve got all the licks and tricks you’d expect of top class musicians, but there’s something a little bit deeper here – an indefatigable purity which isn’t all about the technical know-how -but just from the heart”
-Bruce MacGregor, Travelling Folk, BBC Radio Scotland (and Blazin’ Fiddles)
“The easy critical impulse is to point out that Cahalen Morrison & Eli West sound like they’ve stepped out of a crackly record or wax cylinder from the 1920s. And it’s easy for a reason: They’ve got the kind of classic voices that beautifully complement roots music and, sure, they stick to the old-timey instruments. But any schmuck can chew on a corncob pipe and call it a nostalgia act. Morrison & West can write gorgeous, solid songs with harmonies that’ll wake you up in the middle of the night when your subconscious remembers how fine they are. That kind of songwriting isn’t nostalgic. It lasts, is all.”
-Paul Constant, The Stranger, Seattle
After a long four days in Aaron Youngberg’s studio in Fort Collins, Colorado, the new record has been mixed and mastered, and Eli and I have just released it for digital download, at cahalenandeli.bandcamp.com
The album is produced by Matt Flinner, who also lends his hand on mandolin, bouzouki and tenor guitar. It also features Ryan Drickey on fiddle, Eric Thorin on upright, Aaron Youngberg on banjo, Eli on guitar, bouzouki and clawhammer, and myself, on clawhammer, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar and lap slide. It features 12 originals, and two traditional tunes.
We will be releasing the (physical) album in the coming months, first available at the first ever Seattle Folk Festival, on December 12th, followed by a proper CD release show, still to be announced.
Then, come January, we will be doing a two week record release tour in Colorado, which I’ll update you about as soon as the tour is done being booked!