Bill Morrissey (1951-2011) wrote songs that resonate as deeply and true today as they did when he wrote. Infused with his quick wit, Morrissey’s works were worlds unto themselves, so well designed that it was almost impossible to find the junction between his imagination and the real world.
To mark the 10th anniversary of his passing, Cliff Eberhardt, Mark Erelli, Cormac McCarthy and Pete Nelson, longtime friends of Morrissey, will share an evening of songs and stories about Bill Morrissey at Club Passim in Cambridge. “The Men From Out of Town” will perform live on Friday July 23. Tickets are on sale now on passim.org.
Bill Morrissey was a Grammy-nominated folk singer-songwriter who captured rural New England life and shared it with the world. Over a three-decade career, two of Morrissey’s twelve albums received Grammy nominations. A critical favorite, Morrissey has received accolades from the New York Times and The Rolling Stone. He was also an acclaimed author, writing two books Edson and Imaginary Runner.
“The first night I met Bill Morrissey, we went back to Cliff Eberhardt’s after the show to drink, tell jokes and play songs until the early hours of the morning. We were laughing and playing Chuck Berry and Gershwin numbers, but we also shared our latest songs with each other, “said Mark Erelli.” I have July 23, 2021 – the 10th anniversary of Bill Morrissey’s death in Passim for several years now. I was hoping we could celebrate Bill’s life and legacy by having one of these song circles, where we each take turns telling stories about our time with Bill and playing his songs. Morrissey was one of my musical heroes that I was lucky enough to know, but Cliff Eberhardt, Cormac McCarthy and Pete Nelson toured with him and performed on his records. Each of these guys has a bunch of Bill stories, and I’m sure we’ll hear a few between songs. We’re going to try to showcase his work in all of its facets, as he was also able to pierce an audience with hysterics, evoking grief and despair. We’ll also be doing a series of original songs about our old friend Bill Morrissey, who cast such a long shadow he’s still inspiring us a decade after he passed away. The only thing missing. of the circle of the song will be the man himself, but I know he will be there in spirit. “
Cliff Eberhardt hit the road at age 15, touring the country since the 1970s. He has released 11 studio albums including his latest work, “Knew Things”. The album contains 13 original songs he produced at home during the 2020 pandemic. Eberhardt designed, produced, arranged, and performed all of the instruments himself.
Mark Erelli has forged a colorful career making the art of “being everywhere all the time” seem effortless. It’s hard to think of another artist who seems so comfortable serving as an accompanist for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, just like he writes and produces his own material, such as last year’s “By Degrees”, on which he has been joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow.
Cormac McCarthy was nominated for Outstanding Folk / Acoustic Act and Outstanding Folk / Acoustic Album at the Boston Music Awards. Cormac is regarded by his fellow musicians and fans as one of New England’s best songwriters. He writes and sings about a heartfelt, sometimes funny, sometimes hopeless, sometimes glorious world of ordinary people, struggles, hope, relationships, madness and love. He sings real life poetry with a silky baritone voice and just the right amount of grain.
Pete Nelson has two CDs, The Restless Boys’ Club and Days Like Horses, on the Signature Sounds label. In 2001, he took a brief hiatus from the stage (20 years) to raise a son. He is also the author of some thirty books, including I Thought You Were Dead, an autobiographical novel about a man and his talking dog. He was previously nominated by the Boston Music Awards as the best newcomer in the folk category, but lost to someone by the name of Patty Griffin.
Tickets for The Men From Out of Town at Club Passim on July 23 are available at www.passim.org or at the Club Passim box office sixty minutes before the start of the show. Club Passim is located in Harvard Square at 47 Palmer St., Cambridge, MA 02138.