Background - I've been playing guitar since high school, everything from rock and acoustic bands to singer/songwriter performances. In 1994 I began performing original acoustic music. In 1996 "The Journey: Places Real and Imagined" was released. "Echoes," a nationally syndicated radio program hosted by John Diliberto, played cuts from that CD during 1996 and 1997. The title cut from "The Journey" was included on Volume 3 of a sampler disc released by Acoustic Music Resource. "House by the River," also from "The Journey," was included on a sampler disc compiled and internationally distributed by Poetman USA. Four songs from this CD were in regular rotation on the "Atmospheres" Digital Cable Network
Reviews of The Journey - Places Real and Imagined:
"If you like acoustic fingerstyle guitar, here's another great album for you. John Morgan's new set of original compositions is loaded with melodic hooks that invite easy listening. His instrumentals are all brief in length, running between two and four minutes, and they are all the sort of tunes that have a pop sensibility that invites the listener to hum along to refrains that seem already familiar. There are no synthesizer fills, nature sounds or dazzling two-handed picking techniques. Just the sound of one man with his guitar crafting pleasant melodies that can fit into the work environment without distracting or make great background music for time spent relaxing in friendly conversation. If you spend time just listening, you can appreciate the simple things he celebrates in music, such as "Diamonds in the Snow" or "House by the River" or "The Squirrel with Red Eyes." - New Age Voice (April '98)
"...possesses considerable chops, and his pieces are [melodic], putting him at the top of the pack of artists deserving greater exposure and attention." - James Jensen, Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine (July/Aug '97)"
"There's a reason most "unknown" guitarists are unknown. Either they are simply not blessed with the gift, or their heroic day-to-day routine of slogging through mundane commercial enterprise to support their families restrains them from an unbridled pursuit of artistic excellence. Though John Morgan is as far as can be from a household name, his gift must be uncommonly generous, or he paradoxically draws on a creative force engendered by his life and family that is magically transmuted into great music unbefitting that of an unknown. This Ohioan's melodic solo fingerstyle composition is similar to that of Phil Keaggy, another excellent player and writer whose musical roots were nourished in a similar place and time. The tracks from "The Journey-Places Real and Imagined" could be easily intermixed with Keaggy's Dove-award winning "Beyond Nature" without causing a stir or departing thematically. The liner notes refreshingly indicate that "all songs were performed in standard tuning", almost a rarity in solo fingerstyle performance these days, and even more surprising considering the booming harmonics nursed bell-like from Morgan's Taylor 710. "Streams of Mercy, Showers of Blessing" begins as a disquieting collage of suspenseful arpeggios, resolving pleasingly into a requited and reassuring familiarity.
"Diamonds in the Snow" similarly pits two disparate sensations against each other, a harsh diminished riff spinning around a luminously comfortable theme sounding like the opening guitar line to "Scarborough Fair". Perhaps metaphorically recapitulating something deeper, Morgan has a feel for tension and redemption in his music." Alan Fark www.minor7th.com September/October 2001