Not your average honky-tonk
For Morrison-Williams, it’s not about the “honky-tonky bedonk-e-donk.”
This country Western band doesn’t want to produce highly commercialized songs.
“It’s not about how many records you sell and how many people think you’re cool,” Shayne Morrison said. “You want to touch people’s lives and write songs that actually mean something.”
One of the band’s newer songs is called “Texas Duct Tape.” It’s about all the different things you can do with the stuff.
“Musicians use a lot of duct tape, so someone had to write a song that is an ode to duct tape,” Morrison said. “It’s hard to get out of the boy/girl thing when you sit down to write songs, because you always want to write about love or lost love.”
Morrison has been married for 16 years, so he’s left the love songs to bandmate Clint Williams.
“Seven out of 10 will be about relationships,” Morrison said. (Williams) gets enough for both of us, so he can write about the relationships.”
Williams also wrote a song about cheating that took a different angle than most songs on the subject.
“‘My Girl Friday’ is about the cheater singing to the cheatee,” Morrison said. “(Williams) can take credit for that one. It’s about not treating the woman right, so the other guy steps in to be the super-cheater-hero.”
Morrison grew up in the small town of Carthage, Texas. Population: 5,000. Cheating was the norm.
“There’s no hiding it in a small town,” he said. “Everybody knows about it.”
Morrison played his first gig at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars at 14 years old and saw his first stabbing when he was 16.
“The honky-tonk world is sometimes violent and kind of dark,” he said.
He grew up in it but never fell prey to cigarettes or heavy drinking.
“When you see someone get stabbed at a young age over who spilled whose beer, I didn’t want to be a part of that,” Morrison said. “But it’s a place for your music to get out.”
Playing for rowdy crowds in Texas wasn’t the most unusual audience Morrison-Williams has played for.
“We finally got a chance to play in New York City, and the crowd was almost all transvestites,” Morrison said.
They also played a show in Japan in front of 30,000 people, many of who were wearing cap guns and horse heads.
“They weren’t real, but at the same time, their whole hat was a horse neck, and their heads were sticking out,” Morrison said. “It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen. Sometimes it’s like being in the Twilight Zone.”
Morrison-Williams will play an acoustic show at Steamboat Mountain Theater on Friday. They like country music for the same reason Bon Jovi started dabbling in it.
“Country music always got stories and makes you think about things and use your mind,” Morrison said. “But Clint is a big fan of the ’80s, so we may do some of that big hair band music, too, and anything Bon Jovi.”
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