Biography and Photo
download Pete's current poster
Flying an Unknown Flag
with Simon Edwards and Roger Wilson.
Pete Playing Port Fairy Festival Australia
TRAIN - Pete Morton MP3
One of Pete’s special gifts as a songwriter is that he doesn’t need to resort to an overt linguistic expression of anger or bitterness to make his point, and his songs are all the better for their succinctness and their thoughtful, cautiously optimistic demeanour. Pete’s realism and intrinsic truthfulness are allied to this skilful use of quiet observation, ensuring that imagery is kept simple and universal, easy to relate to and easy to assimilate both in spite of and because of the intelligence with which the words are put together. That quality of directness of thought and simplicity of expression in Pete’s might suggest to you that maybe, just maybe, Pete’s possessed by the spirit of Emily Dickinson (in the touching “I’m in Love With Emily Dickinson”, Pete walks “the dream between God’s love and life’s despair”)! Pete’s sense of bafflement at the ageless conundrums of life, love and living is something we can all identify with, for let’s face it, “all the world’s within a world in the Post Office Queue”!
When considering romance, Pete’s supreme economy of expression makes more from less, as “In Another Life” proves. Pete takes us on a journey of self-discovery, making us think without preaching. Pete’s sense of history, the continuum of human concerns, runs through his songwriting like a consistent thread – from the jovial and catchy opener “Harvest”, through the softly meditative “Further” (a standout) and “The Shores of Italy” (from the lyrics of which the album gets it’s title) and on to the chummy reminiscences of “The Busker’s Song”, finally finding its natural conflation in “A Love That I Don’t Understand”, where Pete’s imagined situation (“in the year 2090 and still here in Blighty, still trying to make poetry rhyme”) calls forth a telling and resigned reflection on the insignificance of human endeavour when set against the laws and processes of nature. I’m not entirely convinced by Pete’s decision to end the album with a revisit of his “greatest hit” “Another Train”, although one could say that it seems to bring the album (and Pete’s songwriting to date) full circle.
“house band” on the album consists of Neil Segrott, Chris
Parkinson and fellow Urban-Folkster Roger Wilson, and their spirited ensemble
sound gives the set an identifiable branding that suits the material –
and Pete’s personality – down to the ground. The accompanying
booklet, interestingly, informs us of the location where each song was
written – many were composed at friend’s houses (or sheds!)
– and full lyrics are included too.
With each CD he (Pete Morton) has jettisoned a bit more of the unnecessary frenzy until this CD, which reveals the naked diamond. It's just the voice and guitar of someone who has earned a place among the best singer-songwriters of the 21st century. The songs on this CD cover an amazing array of topics from politics to love, tragedy and comedy. All of his songs, no matter how dark, have a silver lining of optimism. His expressive voice serves his songs well.
Rich Warren - The Midnight Special - WFMT Chicago
‘Swarthmoor’ named after a favourite place of Pete's is quite simply brilliant, just him and a guitar with eleven of his own songs. Right from the first track about the Middle East conflict I was hooked. Everything else had to stop. There are highlights around each corner. Each song is sincere in its message and well crafted. It feels as if a lot of love and care has been put into these before Pete has let us share them (Living Tradition)
"HUNTING THE HEART" is a collection of Pete's own material, except for the opening track, a duet with Julie Murphy of 'Drink to me only with thine eyes'. One of the songs, 'Forgiveness Hill' was written with Bing Lyle, a songwriter and multi instrumentalist from Brighton who plays in a dance band called 'The Sussex Pistols!' Other musicians accompanying Pete are Andy Cutting on Melodeon and Tom McConville on Fiddle. It was recorded at Mike Harding's studio 'The Cow Shed', who must buy some new lightbulbs incidently. Hats off to the wonderful Tony Bonner for putting up with us all and engineering the whole thing. Order it now!
"ANOTHER TRAIN" is still Pete's most requested song and he has re-recorded it as the final cut on the new CD (Flying an Unknown Flag). There are many versions of this cropping up all over the place now. Pete's versions can be found on "ONE BIG JOKE", on Harbourtown's Pete Morton Compilation - Eerily titled "Another Train" and on a rare but wonderful album. "PETE MORTON AND JO FREYA." B.T.L.CD2. Available from 3 Old Row, Burley, Oakham, LE15 7SY or Phone 01572 755006. The album also includes the only recorded version of "THE LITTLE BIKE".