You can tell an artist who has lived a bit, put the hours in, explored who they are musically and basically earned their sonic stripes. You can tell it by the fact that they have a whole wealth of experience to call on, understand how music works and that it is all about getting the groove and melody right rather than conforming to any one genre or another. Musical tribalism was the worst thing that ever happened. Up until the 80’s pretty much everything was folk, pop or rock and roll and even those demarcations were too strict for many. In more recent times everything has been post-this, post-that and finally post-genre, which is, once again, a healthy and creative place to be.
Whether Jimmy Lee Morris is a pre-genre devotee who never had much truck with such demarkations or a someone who has come up for air in this new, non-genre allied world and revelled in its new found freedom is immaterial, he just seems to make music which comes naturally to him.
But of course the art of following such an open musical brief is maintaining an underlying continuity and that is the skill that sets Jimmy apart from many others trying to tick so many musical boxes. Whether he is giving it the full on rock ’n’ roll groove such as on the aptly named Rock and Roll ‘till the Sun Goes Down or offering up Bowie-esque ballads such as Kate (a nod to the lovely Miss Bush), channelling a Nick Lowe vibe on Midnight Special Late Night Radio Show or offering up Leaving, a deft and delicate folky slice of minimalism, it always sounds like it is part of the same sonic story. More than that it always sounds like Jimmy lee Morris.
Many artists get too bogged down by trying to be one thing or another, following fad or fashion, believing the hype and being guided by the PR people. What Jimmy Lee Morris proves unequivocally here is that the only thing that really matters is being yourself. The styles may change, the dynamics wander and the music explore various avenues and alleyways but if you are true to yourself the music you make will always be uniquely you. Run To The Sun sounds irrefutably like Jimmy Lee Morris and that is all you need to know.