Maren Morrs - "My Church"
This month I want to highlight an artist that I have shared on many #NMM posts, Maren Morris. Maren auditioned for The Voice prior to her move up the charts in Nashville and was not chosen for the show. Now, the show has artists auditioning with her songs. I think Maren can feel good, now at least, that that opportunity passed her by. I am betting if Blake knows this he is totally kicking himself or whomever passed her up in the prelims. Maren Morris just won her first CMA Award in November of 2016 for Best New Artist. She won this award directly after her very first CMA performance of her #1 single, "My Church" which she SLAYYYEEDDDD, HONEY!!!! SLAAAYYYEEEDD!!!!! To say that Maren Morris had a stellar 2016 is kind of a HUGE understatement. After releasing her first single, "My Church" the track gained enough traction to warrant a EP. This EP and the success surrounding "My Church" set up Morris for her first full length album, released with the help of Big Yellow Dog, "Hero". Morris has been around the Nashville community for a few years writing for folks like Tim McGraw and sleeping on the couch of fellow Texan, Kacey Musgraves. Morris was working the bar scene in Texas when she decided to make the trek to Nash where she scored a publishing deal. Taking whatever writes set up for her it would seem that she began to have a specific Maren sound. When pitching "My Church" to her publishers it is said that those writing with her and perhaps even the folks at the pitch simply couldn't imagine someone other than Morris singing the tune. Her writing had become distinctly her. I think that may be one of the biggest compliments that a writer could receive. I mean, that's just my, "from way over here what do I know??!!", point of view. So, Morris ended up keeping the track for herself and I can NOT imagine where the song or she would be had she not. Having heard the rest of "Hero", watching several of her late night show, you tube, award show and CMT Crossroads performances I too, can not imagine anyone else singing, "My Church".
With "My Church", a tune she wrote at the beach on a visit to California, reaching #1 on Billboard Country Charts, charting top 200 in the overalls, it was very difficult to imagine that the album to follow would be anything, but fabulous. "Hero" earned her a opening slot on Keith Urbans U.S. leg of the Rip Cord Tour, she performed with Rascal Flatt's at CMA Fest, she rocked Bonaroo, Morris shared vocals on Dierks Bentley's, "I'll Be the Moon" from his newest album, "Black". She opened on one of the two sold out nights of Eric Church at Red Rocks, and recorded a episode of Crossroads with the incomparable, Alicia Keys and performed at Billboards Women in Music Event. "Hero" and "My Church" earned Maren her first Grammy nominations, FIVE as a matter of fact. Nominations for Best New Artist, Best Country Album, Best Country Song, and "My Church" was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance. FIVE GRAMMY NOMS!!! FIVE????!!!! I would think that this is a impossible to describe moment in time for Maren Morris and those around her. If you haven't watched Maren and Alicia's episode of CMT Crossroads, I would encourage you to as she discusses this "mushroom cloud" of a moment she is living in right now. Maren shares 2017 Grammy noms with other country artists like fellow newbie Kelsea Ballerini, American Idol winner, Grammy, ACM, CMA, Billboard, and CMT award winner Carrie Underwood, who just banked her 25th #1 with "Dirty Laundry" BTW. Also, nominated for a second, perhaps third time Brandy Clark, Rip Cord Tour headliner, Keith Urban, country's newest CMA duo of the year, Brothers Osborne, and the iconic, Loretta Lynn join Maren as nominee's at the 2017 Grammys. Just typing Loretta's name I get chill bumps thinking of how special it would be to be put in a category with her. I would have absolutely no problem losing to Loretta Lynn!!!!
Keith Urban & Maren Morris - "We Were Us"
"Hero" has definitely earned it's keep in a sea of new music and Maren has definitely made her mark in a OCEAN of new artists. With only two singles released from the album, a first headlining tour beginning in February, nominations at Billboard, iHeartMusic, the Grammys, a win and performance at the CMA's, and I want to presume that there will be noms at the ACMs as well, I have my fingers crossed that Maren will not tire of all the attention "Hero" has received. Every artist, label, advisement team, etc. is different. Some artist will only release two to three songs off of their albums and others will release nearly every track. It varies, but I hope that Maren does not immediately move on to new tunes. I mean, I hope that she is writing and creating, of course, but I reallllllyyyyyy hope that we get to kind of wallow like a hog in mud with more from "Hero". My deepest desire is that we get at least one if not two more singles released off this album. One of my personal faves......
Maren Morris - "Once"
As I mentioned early on in this post, Maren has written for other artists before honing a sound that was her own. She shares co-writes with boyfriend, "Hero" tour opener and new Sony signer, Ryan Hurd. The duo have written a track for Tim McGraw and Maren has also written for/with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Kree Harrison, The Brothers Osborne and Lucia Silvias. Her writing skills, in my "way over here, but what do I know??!!", point of view/opinion, have been proven. "My Church" is not like any other song on "Hero". That is what makes "Hero" so good. I do not feel like I am hearing the same song over and over just with different chords. It is a variety of tunes, lyrics, moods, mindsets, and emotions. It makes me feel like the girl you wish you had, the girl you are sad you lost, the girl you think might dig you and the girl you aren't ever gonna catch no matter how hard you try. It has grooves, heart, soul and it even has some very dark spaces. The darker spaces may be some of my favorite. See song choice above, "Once" for reference.
I think starting 2017 New Music Mondays, Writers Wednesday with Maren Morris feels like a solid way to start the New Year. The Grammys air and the "Hero" tour begins in February. To read my post on Grammy noms and predicted winners just type "2017 Grammy" into the blogs search bar. To see if she will be stopping at a venue near you head to her website by clicking HERE. Many of the tour dates are already sold out, but it never hurts to look. Also, if you are dead set on a date that is sold out I have seen many post to fan pages, the artists socials, etc. that they are interested in purchasing tickets. Sometimes a fan has to change their plans and needs to unload their tickets last minute. But, BUT!!!! I encourage you to be very careful if you take that route and be sure to guard yourself, your accounts, etc. and do what needs to be done to be sure the ticket is authentic. Artist like Eric Church and Kip Moore have put the hammer down on scalpers and are working very hard that fans can get tickets at realistic prices. So, if you do go the social media post route, be wise. It also never hurts to email the artists team via their website, the venue, local radio stations and/or promoter. You never know who is going to do give-a-ways, contests or last minute lottery-esq events. Kip Moore is an artist that often posts a #Hashtag contest to his Twitter for day of ticket give-a-ways. Seeing as this is Maren's first headlining tour ya just never know what possibilities are going to be out there ticket wise.
Maren Morris Joining Chris Stapleton
for a cover of Tom Petty's, "Free Fallin"
Maren Morris with Rascal Flatts - "My Church"
CMA Fest 2016
Y'all I have said it before I'll say it again, if you haven't downloaded or purchased in hand copies of "Hero" from Maren Morris......get to it!!!! You are going to want to say you were a fan pre-Grammys. Just trust me my fellow music addix, just trust me.
I hope you all are having a beautiful January and perhaps one that is more on schedule than mine has been, LoL!!!!
Don't forget to be making those calls, texts, tweets, instas, fb posts, etc. to your local radio for Marens current single, "80's Mercedes" off of "Hero".