“She is folk. She is pop. She’s unbelievably masterful behind the wheel of a guitar. Morrison’s vocal storytelling can make you cry; it can make you sing.”— EMILY CLARK OLD COLONY MEMORIAL

    Grace Morrison has never allowed others to define her. Over the course of her prolific career, she’s released three exceedingly well received albums — I’m the Apple (2017), Reasons (2019) and Daughter (2021), each of which testify to her artistry and her acumen.

    She’s many things — a singer, songwriter, a mom, Renaissance Faire performer, and yes, even a  cranberry grower. Yet she pursues each activity with an uplifting attitude and authentic enthusiasm. It leaves an impact on her audiences, creating an emotional bond that’s both enduring and engaging. It’s the mark of an exceptional artist that finds her listeners leaving her shows feeling like they’ve found a new friend, met a kindred spirit and connected with someone who has engaged them with touching tunes, gentle humor and remarkable stories that resonate and reflect true life experiences.

    In that regard, Grace has patented a sound she calls “Saltwater Country.” She describes it as the idea that we need the ocean — and all sources of water for that matter — to provide a place that offers cleansing — not only physically, but spiritually as well. She expresses those sentiments in her songs and in her live performances, through the spoken interludes she shares between songs.

    So too, her themes incorporate a variety of subjects all shared from a personal perspective — be it life as a new mom, accepting one’s body image, dealing with alcoholism, substance abuse and eating disorders, life in a small town and even by referencing historical scenarios as well.

    Now, with her new effort, Maybe Modern, Grace offers yet another outstanding example of those unique abilities. It maintains the momentum established by Daughter, an album that garnered a host of superlative reviews.

    Lauren Daily of The Boston Globe declared, “Her voice smacks of Jewel, and her style, cadence, song structure is every inch from the school of Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Natalie Merchant. It’s uncanny.” So too, Bluebird Cafe host and hit Nashville songwriter Dana Hunt Black raved, “I came away from [Daughter] feeling as though I had taken a trip into the heart and soul of an intelligent, insightful woman, and it was a most enjoyable ride…a masterful record.”

    So too, Maybe Modern underscores the accomplishments that have marked the trajectory Grace has maintained since so early on. They include her Grand Prize wins at the New England Songwriting Competition and the WPRI Rhode Show Big Break contest — both of which led to her music video being played on the season finale of “American Idol” — her recognition as an Official Showcase performer at both the Southeast Regional Folk Alliance and the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance in 2019, her finalist standing in the Wildflower (TX) Festival performing singer-songwriter contest, and her selection to perform as part of the Emerging Artist Showcase at the famed Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

    It also follows up the success of her sophomore set, Reasons, which debuted at #2 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Contemporary Country Airplay Chart. Produced by Walt Wilkins and Ron Flynt, recorded and mixed by Ron Flynt at Jumping Dog Studio, Austin, and mastered by John Mailloux at Bongo Beach Productions Westport, MA., Maybe Modern features a stellar line-up that includes Grace herself on acoustic guitar and vocals, the indomitable music legends Walt Wilkins contributing acoustic guitar, percussion and harmony vocals and Lloyd Maines, who also played on Daughter, adding steel guitar. In addition, it finds Bettysoo on backing vocals, John Chipman on drums and percussion, Glenn Fukunaga playing bass, Rich Brotherton on electric guitars, and Ron Flynt sharing Wurlitzer piano, B3 organ, glockenspiel and baritone guitar.“The new album exists because of two songs — ‘Ghost of It’ and ‘Broken Things’,” Grace says. “But ‘Caught Up In Your Blue” and ‘God Can Be a Mother’ mean a heck of a lot too.”“Ghost Of It” describes a connection to time and space, and finding comfort and familiarity in a place that’s part of the past, but which is sadly beyond reach in the present tense. A bittersweet ballad, it rings with the sound of bittersweet reflection and Maines’ wistful pedal steel. The gentle lilt of “Broken Things” shares a similar sensibility, an ode to a now-abandoned house where her grandparents once lived and which currently serves as a testament to the connection she still feels as she passes each day on the main street of her town. Even now, it draws her ever closer despite the passage of so many years. “A time capsule is as close as I can come to a description,” Grace notes. “Think Titanic on dry land.”

    “Caught Up In Your Blue” comes across with a forthright melody, a song about empathy, and her frustration at witnessing someone close to her caught up in abuse, which in turn, causes her anger due to the fact that the victim refuses to react. “I realized this person had to be the one to save themself,” Grace explains. “The ‘aha’ moment was likening it to addiction, as if to say, ‘you’re the drug and I’m the user, God I feel the shame.’”On the other hand, the album’s closing track, the gentle and caressing “God Can Be a Mother” is a song about self-revelation, as well as a realization of worth and potential. “I’ve been making music as my sole income and as my hobby since 1997,” Grace reflects. “I was twelve, and Lilith Fair was at its zenith, and my eyes were set on becoming singer songwriter and performing at Lilith Fair. Nevertheless, time is like the ocean smoothing over stones, and the energy and passion and excitement I felt at twelve has smoothed over a bit.  Not to say that those things are gone, but they have been reconfigured in a way.  What once was this sharp, clear goal has morphed into enjoying each and every moment of making music, purely for the joy and satisfaction that comes with it.” Indeed in that regard, Grace’s career has been built on one accomplishment after another. “My first concert was the Tori Amos/Alanis Morrisette 5 ½ weeks tour,” she recalls. “I remember sitting there thinking, ‘Someday I’m going to be onstage with those people.” My favorite thing about this record is that my last producer was on that stage. He’s Tori’s bass player. Full circle!”

    Nevertheless, she made her initial impact singing back-up vocals for such notables as Eddie Money and Joey Molland of Badfinger before venturing out on her own. “Covid year 2020 was a gift to me in that regard,” she reflects. “Time stopped. I reassessed. Is music-making a career that I really want to pursue?  Would I rather go teach in a public school and have some kind of retirement plan?”

    Ultimately, she realized on reflection that writing, recording and performing has put her on the path she was meant to pursue. With her new album, Maybe Modern, that realization comes to full fruition.

    Website: https://www.gracemorrison.com

    Listen to Grace on Spotify

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