Colby Morgan is meeting me at seven o’clock. At 6:46 p.m. I receive a text message from Morgan saying, “I’ll be a bit later, made a CD.” If ever there was a viable excuse for being late, this guy has found it.
When Morgan does arrive, he comes bearing gifts – specifically, his hot off the presses debut album, So It Goes. Having just finished in the studio Morgan is full of energy and excited about the new release. “There’s a whole bunch of everything on this.” From solo songs, to choirs, to like-minded musical guests, the record reflects both the collective Vancouver music scene and the variety of musical endeavors swimming around in Morgan’s head.
The assortment of songs chosen for the album plays upon the title, So It Goes, the resounding phrase from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, and Morgan’s inspiration. “That book helped me a lot, it made everything that was serious, not so serious,” reducing the stress of strenuous studio time.
Such time was relatively new to Morgan, who feels most at home onstage. “It’s my favourite thing to do. I feel weird everywhere else, but when I’m playing with other people I can actually be myself.” The album captures this passion for performance through live bed tracks that lay the foundation for Morgan’s earnest vocals.
The final product showcases influences of Neil Young and Wilco tied together by a common thread of blues-rock that runs throughout. Lively and fast guitar-driven tracks like “Tornado” give room to the lyrically gifted and acoustic “Wastin Time”. The resulting compilation may “be all over the place,” as Morgan says, yet exhibits a spectrum of musical undertakings I found myself singing along to on the car ride home.
The evolution of So It Goes began long before its production started one year ago. In Grade 6 Morgan won a bet with his dad that traded a goal in soccer for the purchase of his first bass guitar. Much to his dad’s chagrin, Morgan hung up the cleats for good.
Since then, music has remained integral to Morgan, who hopes to tour this summer, write more and learn what people think of his debut. As for his dad? “I think he’s really happy I scored that goal.” So are we.
Look for Colby Morgan’s official album release in early April.
By Alison Brierley