Listeners have often asked of his music whether there are two guitars, or whether it is a guitar at all. They have heard Irish music, American folk, Caribbean rhythms, and the blues. Others have noticed a subtle French vibe, while comparing him to Nick Drake, Jose Gonzalez or Robert Thompson.
Maybe it is hard to put his music in a box because Nick Morrison was born to American parents in France; or because after a bourgeois childhood playing classical piano, he spent his 20s recording free-jazz musicians on Chicago’s west side; or because he moved cities a dozen times before settling in Berlin at age thirty.
Just before this last move, he recorded his début album ‘My Poor Kingdom’ in his mother’s bedroom, marking his farewell to the USA on a distinctly blue note. His passion for West-African string music is already audible on these early recordings, long before he jammed backstage with Tinariwen and learned how they tune their guitars. Over the next seven years he played in several Berlin-based afrobeat projects, spent two months in Sénégal, and in collaboration with his wife Maike Novák released two EPs as Pallet of Leaves in a colorful global-folk style. Through his association with the Polyversal Souls and the Philophon label, he shared the stage with such luminaries of African music as Alemayehu Eshete, Stella Chiweshe and Lee Dodou.
The music on his new solo EP ‘The Gift Village’ ties these experiences together into a document of border crossing and musical translations, a nomad’s perspective on the guitar in the year 2020.