Full Album show
Last Featured on this show March 19, 2017

Jack Ballengee Morris

Jack Ballengee Morris was born in Charleston, WV and grew up in Clay County. His dad is David Morris who, now mostly retired, remains an Appalachian folk music legend in the hills of West Virginia. Jack was blessed with the opportunity to watch and absorb as a kid until the time came where his own musical chops led to performing alongside his dad. The first song David taught Jack was “Handsome Molly”, a folk song about unrequited love. They’ve been playing together ever since. By the 8th grade, his mother found a job at The Ohio State University, and his family decided to relocate to Ohio in search of a bigger, better life.
After graduating from OSU with a Fine Arts degree, Jack continued to hone his skills as a singer-songwriter, playing open mics and clubs while working as a professional glass blower. Saving his money for studio time, Jack began looking closer into his soul and connecting many of his current thoughts and feelings with his roots in West Virginia. With the release of his first album, Jack is including us in on some of what he’s learned about leaving one place for the bigger, better life in another.
In 2013 Jack was contacted by Barbara Kopple, the Lifetime Achievment Award winning documentarian. Her directorial debut uncovered the entrenchment coal-mining families found themselves in during a violent strike of the early ‘70s. Harlan County U.S.A (1976) won the Academy Award for Best Documentary and featured David Morris’ music throughout the film. At Barbara’s request, David and Jackjoined her on tour of US and Canada film festivals in support of renewed interest in Harlan County U.S.A.
That tour led to Barbara requesting new music by Jack and David for her 2015 documentary film titled Shelter, which focuses in on homeless veterans in northern California. In support of the new film, David and Jack also appeared on Mountain Stage in February 2015. Due to his dad’s health, Jack now travels with Barbara Kopple as a solo act.

ALBUM: West Virginia Refugee
Many have said that you have your whole life to write your first album, and West Virginia Refugee is a reflection of that sentiment. Ever since he was big enough to hold a guitar, Jack Ballengee Morris traveled all over the continent in support of his musician dad. Taking in the sights and sounds of the world he traversed, along with lessons learned of love-and-loss while coming of age, has led to an inspired collection of self-penned Americana songs.
Beginning in 2010, Jack teamed up with producers Patrick Testa and Tom Boyer (Earwig / Jasmine Cain / Adam Schlenker) in Tom’s OATH Studios in Columbus, eventually amassing more than 30 songs. Culled from these exploratory recordings is Jack’s first LP, West Virginia Refugee. The album is rich with a warm, classic sound and features Peter Fox (cello), Tom Boyer (bass, accordion, organ), Dave Fowler (drums) and Julianne Blue (backing vocals) as well as guest appearances by Andy Harrison (e-bow) and Matt Opachick (fiddle). Mastering was done by Brian Lucey (Doyle Bramhall II / Lucinda Williams / Ringo Starr Band / Ryan Bingham / The Black Keys).
West Virginia Refugee is available now in CD format at cdbaby.com as well as digitally through iTunes and Amazon.

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# (PST) Name length Rating
1 10:00 California's Edge 02:15 4
2 10:02 Lick All My Wounds 02:46 4
3 10:05 Eskimo Pies 02:51 4
4 10:08 Thread The Line 05:24 4
5 10:13 West Virginia Refugee 03:47 4
6 10:17 Beggars Will Ride 03:20 4
7 10:20 Tower Ifell 03:57 4
8 10:24 Poor Jfk 04:23 4
9 10:29 In The Dark 03:22 4