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RUSSELL MORRIS
‘BLACK AND BLUE HEART’
(taken from Black And Blue Heart album out 5 April 2019 through Bloodlines)

After six decades on the road, an album can almost write itself. But it takes a rare combination of talent and circumstances to realise that vision as vividly as Russell Morris does on Black And Blue Heart.

Having moved north a year prior, the warmer environs had already exerted a strange, organic influence on the songs Russell Morris was writing in the wake of his platinum-selling, ARIA-winning blues-rock trilogy — Sharkmouth, Van Diemen’s Land, and Red Dirt Red Heart — that so spectacularly relaunched his career from 2012 onwards.

He sent the song demos to Byron Bay based producers Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Powderfinger) and Bernard Fanning and “they rang me back within two days,” Russell says. “They said, ‘We can’t stop listening to these songs.’

The two producers speed-dialled their dream studio team: guitarist Dan Kelly, drummer Declan Kelly and, from Fanning’s touring band, bassist Matt Englebrecht and keys player Ian Peres, and perched between the tropical bush and panoramic ocean views of La Cueva Studios near Byron Bay, Black And Blue Heart found its rhythm immediately.

It’s the title track, a song of simmering tenderness and empathy, that Bernard Fanning describes as “a song for the ages”.

Russell’s been a really substantial artist for a very long time but I think that song will live on with his best,” he says.

Born and bred in the USA, Nick DiDia’s perspective was more immediate.

I was hearing this amazing history for the first time as we were making the record,” he says of timeless Australian classics such as ‘The Real Thing’, ‘Wings Of An Eagle’ and ‘Sweet, Sweet Love’.

The final words come from Russell:

The band, the producers, the studio… it all fell into place beautifully but the songs came from where I came from. I went back to the well and I drank from the fountainhead, and this is the result.

‘BLACK AND BLUE HEART’ SINGLE OUT NOW THROUGH BLOODLINES

BLACK AND BLUE HEART ALBUM OUT 5 APRIL 2019 THROUGH BLOODLINES

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