Bill Morrissey at The Bull Run, March 8, 1997

From:             "Ron Mura" <>
Date sent:        Fri, 14 Mar 1997 19:54:49 -5
Subject:          March 8th at the Bull Run

Last Saturday my wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Bill in concert for the first time since last November. Often there is extreme weather when we go to one of Bill's shows, and this time was no exception. There were a few inches of snow, freezing on the roads, in Shirley, Mass., where the concert took place. We discovered that the adjacent town of Lunenburg doesn't plow or sand its roads, which is OK (no environmental damage from the salt), but we would have taken the four-wheel drive if we'd known we'd end up in that setting.

We did make it to the Bull Run before the show started. The snow didn't keep people away. It was hard to find a place to park because the Bull Run is a popular restaurant on Saturdays and there was some type of reception going on in one of the lower rooms. The large concert room in the back was full. They even put some chairs on both sides of the stage for the overflow crowd. (The room seats around 300 people.)

Peter Keane opened and did a fine set of about 35 minutes. After a brief break, Bill came on and did a single long set:

 1. Motels and Planes
 2. Inside
 3. Different Currency
 4. Party at the U.N.
 5. Hills of Tuscany
 6. very short reading from the beginning of Edson
 7. When Summer's Ended
 8. Shirley (ad libbed song about the town)
 9. Off-White
10. Closed-down Mill
11. Drinking with Greg (one verse)
12. Small Town on the River
13. You Got Me, Babe (one verse)
14. Letter from Heaven
15. These Cold Fingers
16. Birches
17. Payday (encore with Peter Keane)
It was a nice mix of songs. I was disappointed when he played a few chords to "Man from out of Town" and then stopped to ask the audience for requests, deciding to do "Off-white." "Man from out of Town" is my personal favorite, but I can't complain because Bill played it the last several times I saw him.

The highlight of the evening was probably "Small Town on the River." It's always been a favorite and I don't think Bill has played it in recent years. This time he sang "fifty years" instead of "forty years" as on the recorded versions. It made me think of how long I've been listening to Bill's music. I've heard him do the song with references to 30, 40, and now 50 years.

For the encore with Peter, Bill played some nice slide guitar.

A couple of days after the show, Peter was on Boston radio station WUMB. It was one of the most interesting radio interviews I've heard in a long time. That man really knows his music--both composition and history. Almost every time he spoke, I learned something. It renewed my interest in some of the blues and folk traditions that today's singer/songwriters depend on.