Names in Lights: Eliot Morris

For the Love of Art

Eliot Morris, a Mobile native and McGill-Toolen graduate, began writing songs as a student at Auburn University. The singer-songwriter, who now lives in Memphis, grew up as one of six children in “a typical Southern upbringing, ” he says. Since he released his first CD in 2002, he has toured with such nationally known acts as James Taylor, John Mayer and Counting Crows. Most recently, he played the Folk Alliance International in Memphis and released his CD, “All Things in Time.”

Throughout his career, Morris, above, has had his fair share of ups and downs while trying to make it in the music business. Once signed to Universal Music, home to hundreds of acts as varied as Lady Gaga and Pavarotti, Morris discovered that getting a big record label contract is just the first step on a very long, exhausting, fickle and political road with an elusive destination.

Despite his rollercoaster ride, the singer-songwriter is optimistic about the music industry. “No doubt, it is still possible to catch lightning in a bottle for a very, very small percentage of the people signing label deals. Now it seems more prudent and effective for artists to go it on their own.”

“I found people with a true passion for music in the large companies, but in this day of technology, their business models are very difficult for emerging artists, ” Morris shares. “Any project really has to make sense on a business level and be profitable. But, for many of us, it starts with a love of music, not as a way to support our families.” 

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Family is the epicenter of his life, as well as his career. With the sounds of a baby and kids in the background, Morris says, “Growing up around my family in Mobile and now having one of my own are what have really inspired me all along. Family defines who I am and what I do—maybe everything I’ve ever done.”

When he’s not making music, Morris invests his time in another artistic endeavor. It might be said that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, in respect to his new focus on fine art. “I’m a fourth generation portrait artist, ” he says. He hopes, in the future, to have a combination show featuring chords and canvas—a musical performance with an exhibition of his paintings. Morris returns to Mobile on July 15, for a live concert at Space 301.

July 15
Live at Space 301
Space 301, 301 Conti St. 208-5671.
8 p.m. “An Intimate Evening with Eliot Morris.”
Limited seating of 175. Tickets: 208-5600.

Can’t stand the wait? Click HERE to listen to “Handmade” or listen and watch Eliot Morris in this video of “Fault Line.”

Catt Sirten

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