In Memoriam – Jesse Morris

Photo by Cecilia Austin/Alarm Press

I have always maintained that some of the best musical talents in the works are the ones we have never heard before. For many people, such is the case with Jesse Morris. For the ones lucky enough to know or witness Jesse perform, they know they were looking at someone special.

Jesse, aka “the punk rock Johnny Cash” was a staple of the San Francisco BART stations, a well-known busker known as much for his tattooed punk appearance as he was for how golden voice and ability to sound like Johnny Cash.

Photo by fiveinchpixie

Re-imaging such artists as Black Flag or Judas Priest, but in the style of Cash endeared him to any who heard him.

Jesse at times played local bars with his band Jesse Morris and the man Cougars, but had a love of playing in the BART stations. A troubled soul, who had dealt with bipolar disorder for years, Jesse, like Johnny, dealt with his fair share of demons. I hope those demons have quieted down once and for all and that he has found peace.

Jesse had been working on a country album starting in 2008, but it never got completed. Go here to download I Wanna Take It All Back – In Memory for only $5, with all proceeds going to pay for Jesse’s memorial service. The songs are excellent, and we get to hear more of Jesse’s own voice, not just the perfect mime of Johnny Cash that he did so well. Some of the later songs on it are punk-tinged country tunes, staying true to himself in all ways.

Here’s a fantastic video of Jesse singing Folsom Prison Blues in a BART station. Damn.

Rest in peace, Jesse Morris.

*Read more about Jesse here, hereand here. You’ll be glad you did.

Please go to http://differentfur.bandcamp.com/album/i-wanna-take-it-all-back-in-memory to download the album.

*fiveinchpixie’s photos here. Thanks for the excellent shot!

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