Nearly half a century after releasing one of the biggest rock songs in Australian history, Russell Morris is setting his sights on America with the release of his award winning album Sharkmouth on September 30th
Sharkmouth is a bold delivery of an untold piece of Australian history. Loosely based on characters and events spanning from 1916, Sharkmouth is a journey through Australia’s most iconic and untold stories. Upon it’s release in Australia Sharkmouth reached #1 on the iTunes Blues Charts, #1 on the Australian Blues Radio Charts, Russell received the ARIA award for Best Blues and Roots album and Sharkmouth went on to be the highest selling record of the year.
Stream the First Single “Black Dog Blues” via SOUNDCLOUD
Morris grew up listening to American blues artists like John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, taking inspiration from music that had been made halfway across the globe. Australia and America have very similar cultural beginnings of being places of refuge for the unwanted and displaced, so it’s no surprise that Morris’ music resonates strongly with the American Blues documenting the history of lesser known characters that have helped shaped the fabric of the culture.
It was on a trip to Sydney that Morris recalls seeing a photo of famed con-man Thomas 'Shark Jaws' Archer . “It was his arrest photo from 1921, and it just drew me in,” says Morris. “It almost communicated to me from a hundred years ago, saying, 'Write a song about me. Tell people that I lived and I walked this earth and scared people to death.'" That photo was the launchpad for Sharkmouth, and Morris’ signature story driven songwriting inspired by the gangsters, gamblers and backstreet dwellers of Depression-era Australia.
Morris got a fast start in music. At barely 21 years of age he recorded "The Real Thing”, a psychedelic rock single that climbed its way to the top of the Australian charts in 1969. It became the continent's biggest song that year, earning airplay in U.S. markets like Chicago and New York along the way. More hits followed, and — moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, looking to continue his success on U.S. soil.
Things didn't go as planned, and despite his success at home, Morris was unable to gain a foothold in the American market. He eventually headed back to Melbourne and took an extended break from the public eye. Years later, when Morris began writing honest, hard-hitting music that explored his bluesy roots, those people were waiting for him, and he is looking to make the same impact here in the U.S. with the release of Sharkmouth. Morris will be in the U.S. playing select shows in support of the album this fall.