Bio in Brief
They are a young four piece band performing in the greater Sacramento and Bay Areas and beyond, lead by Singer/Songwriter/Pianist/Guitarist, Todd Morgan. The band’s music consists of original Pop/Rock along with songs from 50’/60’s rock & Roll, up to present day Pop and Rock, though you may also hear occasional Jazz or Blues number from earlier. Todd is backed by the Emblems. The current members include Patrick Owen on guitar, Jessica Luna on bass and Cameron Womack on drums.
Their newest album, Reality, released in June of 2012 under just the name Todd Morgan, takes on a new direction musically from their self-titled debut album that released in 2009, having a much more modern approach and sound this time around, as opposed to the heavily 50’s sound of their first release. Also available is their EP, "Dance With Me", which contains 4 tracks from the 11 track "Reality" album.
There are plans to return to the studio toward the end of 2013 to begin work on a new LP.
Todd Morgan & the Emblems
To hear Todd Morgan is, in many ways, to take a musical trip back to the cradle of rock 'n roll, to mnemonically return to Memphis '54, the seminal Sun Recording Studios, that karmic Mecca of creative audiophonics where a misfit Mississippi white boy, influenced by hillbilly redneck bluegrass and black rhythm & blues, first fused rural poverty’s ex-plantation primitive “hollers” and hillbilly’s down-home plaintive "high lonesome sound" into a new hip, hybrid musical form - a guttural wail of "White Negro" angst and amped guitar wattage that revolutionized American culture.
Make no mistake - Todd Morgan is not an Elvis impersonator or mere (and often trite) "tribute" artist to past rock pioneers. He wisely makes no attempt to vocally mimic the "down home Delta" or "Mississippi-to-Memphis" musical dialects of earlier artists. Comfortable in his own skin and musical sound, he happily employs his own fine, tenor voice - aided by an impeccable ear and killer instrumentals - to capture the essence of the founding artists in that early, highly-innovative era of nascent, eclectic, rock 'n roll. He simply "gets it," as though being a musical empath who, in taking some personal mystical path back through the creative past of popular music, has picked up (or more properly, absorbed) the entirety - including the very nuances - of each artist's signature styles, until, upon return, he is magically, uniquely, able to recreate the original sound.
What makes this young dynamo of talent so audibly appealing is the fact that Todd Morgan is musically organic, audibly the authentic sound, the long-awaited son of the original Sun Sessions, an artist able to faithfully recreate not only the genuine genius of such pioneering artists as Elvis Presley (accompanied by Scotty Moore and Bill Black), Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, but their early "Race Music" brethren, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Ray Charles (to name just a few.)
Along the way, Morgan and his backing trio of accompanists, the Emblems, manage to route from pop music's disparate roots, the sounds and styles of almost every major artist who has impacted America's rhythmic audible culture (including those of an invasive "Fab Four" who backwashed to American shores, a mod version of rock 'n roll's authentic sound - discarded by corporate radio playlist minions in the early '60s - to thus move pop music in yet a further (r)evolutionary direction.) In so doing, this tight, bright, 4-piece band, brings elements and traces of too many artists to herewith recount, including Roy Orbison, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elton John, and in Morgan's music and rocking movements, no small influence of the iconic master of performance rock terpsichore, Michael Jackson. Make note: Morgan has the chops, the musicality, and the moves to make his introductory hour upon the stage, a memorably appealing one for audiences of all ages.
Lastly, there is the refreshing fact that Todd Morgan and the Emblems, is on its way toward successfully adding to the hallowed list of heralded artists their own unique contemporary contributions, as evidenced in such uptempo numbers as "You Will", “Dance With Me” and "Someone Else" and bluesy rock ballads like "To Be Lonely" and "Used," among the appealing collection of creative songs they have now collected into two CDs awaiting greater discovery as well as great new songs soon to be recorded.
- Will Ruha