Music for Morrison
A longtime Monterey Bay Blues Festival legend gets local support at Sly’s after suffering a serious loss.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Los Angeles-based blues singer Barbara Morrison is known for a powerful voice that spans an incredible range of two-and-a-half-octaves. Los Angeles Times music critic Zan Stewart is just one of the people to take notice.
“Years ago they used to call jazz singer Dinah Washington ‘The Queen of the Blues,’” he writes. “Well, these days, that title could very easily go to the dynamic, persuasive Barbara Morrison. If you’ve heard any of her albums, you know that she can deliver that rhythmically charged genre with consummate flair.”
Throughout the years, Morrison has performed festivals all over the world, including more than 10 appearances at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival – last July, in fact, she was scheduled to play Seaside’s Sunday Blues in the Park. But the vivacious and vibrant singer had to cancel her show after suffering complications related to diabetes, which resulted in the amputation of one of her legs. Morrison plans on being fitted with a prosthetic leg and eventually hopes to make her way back to the stage. In the meantime, she’s faced with exorbitantly high medical bills that have become only more difficult to pay since she’s been unable able to work.
On Sunday, many of the local musicians – including Sista Monica, Tammi Brown, Blues at Eleven and Lee Durley – that have grown close with Morrison over the years are rallying at Sly McFly’s for a jam session fundraiser. And at Morrison’s request, half of all the money raised will go to the Monterey Bay Blues Festival’s Blues in the Schools program, further proof of the singer’s undying love for the blues.
Musicians who would like to sit in on the jam session should contact Jack Burnam at JBurnam@comcast.net.
THE BARBARA MORRISON BENEFIT happens 2-6pm, Sunday, Sept. 18, at Sly McFly’s, 700 Cannery Row, Monterey. Donations accepted. 649-8050.