Just Announced!! William Michael Morgan Live this Saturday Night!
Country music is at its best when youthful energy carries tradition forward. It’s what the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs and Garth Brooks brought to the format, and it’s what fans and critics alike are looking for in modern-day country.
Look no further than William Michael Morgan. That fresh-take-on-a-classic-sound approach was apparent when he was a 14-year-old playing four sets a night of Haggard, Strait and Waylon in Mississippi honky-tonks that had “everything but the chicken wire,” and it’s apparent now in his debut album, Vinyl. Throughout its 11 songs, he brings a voice and manner older than his 23 years to bear on music written by him and many of today’s best tunesmiths.
It’s a combination summed up in the album’s title track, a song about new love as vintage, as fresh and timeless as the vinyl that embodies a lifetime’s worth of classic records—and a substance enjoying a resurgence as young people everywhere savor its audio magic.
“I am such a fan of the traditional approach,” he says, “but I want to make it as fresh as you can possibly make it. The song ‘Vinyl’ caught my attention the minute I heard it. I think that combination of old and new suits me to a ‘T’.”
It certainly does. William Michael has written with and drawn from many of the city’s best present-day songwriters even as he takes inspiration from heroes like Keith Whitley, George Jones and his friend and mentor, ’90s honky-tonk king Mark Chesnutt. He is a veteran of the Louisiana Hayride, whose stage hosted Hank Sr., Elvis and so many others, and he is a mainstay at the Grand Ole Opry, a timeless institution showcasing the best of modern country and gladly showcasing William Michael’s talents nearly two dozen times.
The album captures the magic the Hayride, the Opry and present-day country radio have all embraced. It opens with the crisp Fender guitar of “People Like Me,” the perfect introduction to someone with a lifelong affinity for working people, and closes with “Back Seat Driver,” a touching piece of intergenerational storytelling. In between, there is love and loss, work, relaxation and escape, all anchored in William Michael’s expressive baritone and in classic instrumentation.
“We always had a steel guitar in my early bands, and I’ve had one ever since,” he says. “If it came down to it, I would pick a steel guitar over a lead guitar any day, just because I love that lonesome sound. Even in my ear piece on stage, where some people just want voice and maybe an acoustic, I like a little bit of steel in it because it puts me in my element.”
With Vanessa LeGrand
Vanessa is a classically trained singer that has had the opportunity to be part of the Augusta Children’s Choir, the Pittsburgh Children’s Choir, and has had vocal training at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins. During her time with the Pittsburgh Children’s Choir she was blessed in getting to work with the Pittsburgh Symphony and sing under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch.
After taking a break from music for almost 8 years, Vanessa renewed her passion and started singing in the Charlotte area. Vanessa took the Charlotte music scene by storm playing in acoustic duos and bands all over town. Having conquered Charlotte, she set her sights on Las Vegas hoping to get the opportunity to work with seasoned and professional musicians. After landing in Vegas, she immediately scored a gig as the female vocalist in a Jazz quintet performing at the Palazzo hotel.
Since her first gig at the Palazzo Vanessa has performed all over the strip singing all genres from pop to jazz, to country and rock. She has performed on Freemont Street, Toby Keith’s, The M Resort, Bootlegger, among many others in and out of Las Vegas. Currently Vanessa has a residency at South Point Casino on Friday nights performing before the World Famous Dirty at 12:30 Comedy show. She is currently working on her first original album consisting of country / rock music and hopes to have an EP by the end of 2017.