Kenn Morr Band to return to Arbor Park

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Tue., Jul. 19, 2011
Kenn Morr returns to Ellington for a free concert on July 31. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Since the last time Kenn Morr played in Ellington, he has recorded not one, but two new CDs. In fact, the latest effort - which is still nameless - is so new that Morr still refers to the previous album - “Higher Ground,” which came out in May 2010 - as his “new” album.

Morr said an “interestingly strange and difficult” number of events in his personal life led to the writing and recording of the newer disc – in part, as a means of therapy – which was a quick turnaround in itself, considering that it usually takes close to two years for the entire process.

“There's not a central theme,” Morr said, adding that the loss of his mother as well as his sound engineer in the same year were events that stirred up things inside of him.

“What I do to cope is write, so I started writing, and writing a lot,” he said.

Those personal songs, however, won't be among those heard when Morr plays at Arbor Park on July 31, as part of the Summer Concert Series, because the recordings aren't available yet and the band hasn't rehearsed them yet.

“You go and record them, that's one thing,” he said. “Then you have to go and learn how to play them – it's kind of funny.”

So, the cuts from “Higher Ground” will be central to the July 31 show, along with some earlier pieces.

“We're doing 100 percent my material,” Morr said, “with stuff off of my five CDs to date.”

Morr said he has noticed, especially at his outdoor summer shows, that his music has a wide appeal.

“We get anywhere from young kids hanging out by the stage or up dancing on the green, up to people in their 80s, and everywhere in between,” he said. “People of all ages seem to dig it.”

Morr, who is from Colebrook, Conn., said Ellington has always been a special place for him, and is a town where he has been well-received.

“I love going there, and being there,” he said. “I just love the area.”

He added that one year his Ellington show met with a rainstorm and had to be moved to the Ellington High School auditorium, where about 30 people attended.

“We just had a magical night, even though there was only a handful of people there,” he said. “That made us look forward to coming back and playing again the next year. Somehow that handful of people in that room made it feel like there was 3,000 people in the audience. We saw what the people were made of.”

The Kenn Morr Band plays July 31, starting at 6 p.m. at Arbor Park. The show is free, although donations to the Parks and Recreation Department will be accepted.

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