HEADLINER: Russell Morris' latest album Black and Blue Heart, which will be part of his song card at the Central Coast's Winter Blues and Jazz Festival, is a surprise follow-up to his blues trilogy.
HEADLINER: Russell Morris' latest album Black and Blue Heart, which will be part of his song card at the Central Coast's Winter Blues and Jazz Festival, is a surprise follow-up to his blues trilogy.

Evergreen Russell Morris proves he's still The Real Thing

WITH a career spanning 50 years, 70-year-old Russell Morris is still bringing us new songs as he headlines the Central Coast's Winter Blues and Jazz Festival on the weekend of July 13-14.

The free event will also have the return of favourite Emma Pask, as well as performances by Caiti Baker, 19-Twenty, Chase The Sun, Geoff Achinson, Muma Jane Blues Band and more.

"We have a great and varied line-up that will make it almost impossible not to move your feet," council manager Community Partnerships, Glenn Cannard, said.

"The Entrance is the flagship venue for the event but locals and visitors can enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere at venues in Bateau Bay, Tumbi Umbi, Wamberal and Avoca Beach," Mr Cannard said.

Morris has confirmed he and the band will perform songs from his newly released Black and Blue Heart on the Coast, as well as old favourites.

Originally made famous by 1969's psychedelic The Real Thing, and with six top-20 hits through to Wings of an Eagle in 1973, Morris was inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame in 2008.

But it wasn't until his surprise hit blues album, the history-based Sharkmouth in 2012 that he really returned to the forefront of Aussie music, closely following it with Van Diemen's Land and Red Dirt - Red Heart to complete the trilogy.

This year's Black and Blue Heart is another surprise - to the man himself as well as his fans.

"I thought I would write some generic blues songs, and what came out was completely different," he said.

While usually sticking to one style and theme, Morris said in this case "a whole array of music came out of me... and I couldn't seem to control it".

He decided to "go with the flow" and what he came up with impressed Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning and the band's American producer Nick DiDia (also producer of Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam).

The resulting album is exactly what Russell wanted, an "edgy sound" with a garage-style rawness to it which had it debut at No.12 on the ARIA Album Chart and No.3 on the Australian Artists album chart, behind only Hilltop Hoods and Dean Lewis.

So, to cheer on a fellow senior who is still showing the younger generation what's possible, grab a chair or picnic rug and join the up to 10,000 people enjoying the great music, stalls and amusements, and perfect Coast backdrop at the Winter Blues and Jazz Festival.

It's on 10am-4pm at Memorial Park, The Entrance, with other venues including Waterfront Plaza, Diggers, The Entrance Hotel, Bateau Bay Hotel, Breakers Country Club, The Greens The Entrance, Mingara Recreation Club, and Avoca Beach Hotel.

Phone (02) 43505555 or go to centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/whats-on/council/winter-blues-jazz-2019.


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