Red Silhouettes

by Matthew Morgan

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Matthew's debut CD “Red Silhouettes” is a tour de force in “Do It Yourself” recording. Entirely self produced and engineered he performs nearly every instrument himself with a few notable musicians and friends adding exuberance to the mix. “Red Silhouettes” is loosely based on surviving stories and letters that reveal the hardships and daily struggles of those present during the American Civil War.

"While Chicago artist Matt Morgan's visual art pares images down to basic shapes, simplifying objects into blocks of color, his recent music album is just the inverse of that-- it turns the sweater of life inside out and shows us the fascinating patterns, loops, twists, turns and strings behind it. He does this through simplicity, complexity and through a word not often used outside overly-serious law firm advertisements, yet is in “Red Silhouettes” in spades: integrity.

The DIY creation helps the album at every turn. This home-spun album is peppered with detail and salted with a quirky charm that make it surprisingly complex, entirely original and fit like a perfect hat. It makes it unexpected, bitter and tasty; warm and conversational, light-hearted as tea and dark as strong whiskey, and as eye opening as a cup of coffee or transcendent as a peek at a perfect ray of sun."

- Hannah Frank, On Axis Music

"He cites influences like Nick Drake and Neil Young and you can certainly hear that in his thoughtful lyrics and straight ahead vocal delivery. He played most of the instruments as well as engineering it himself and and all in all, he did a pretty good job. The arrangements fit the songs and the instruments blend well...."The Crashing Waves" is centered around a finger-picked acoustic guitar and pushed along by a lively snare. The first line, "If we could paint a brighter sky/Maybe we could learn to love this life" is really beautiful and makes you want to hear more."

-Jamie Anderson


released February 15, 2011

Performed, written and recorded by Matthew Morgan with help from the following: Anita Chase (vocals; tracks 1 & 6), Sheela Reddy (bass: track 1), Kurt Baumer (violin; tracks 2 & 7), Dave Szpunar (banjo; track 10) and Anand Christopher (track 10).

Mastering by Shaun Morris at Headroom Mastering.



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Matthew Morgan Chicago, Illinois

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Track Name: Taking Sides
In the clever fallout
of promises and lies,
there's a whisper on the tongue
in the place where our memory hides.

And it breaks my heart to know
that we're not the same.
Where flowers used to grow
our words cry dust and rain.

It's a maddening sound.
It's a dying dream,
that we were once so young
in our lilac reverie.

But, I can never win
this tournament of lies.
It's not in my nature to
be blessed by worldly eyes.

Actually speaking,
it seems quite clear
we're not what we appear.
Words are only
spoken in the
countenance of...

fear you'll be forgotten,
yearning with a sigh.
It seems I was mistaken.
There's mercy in the sky.

And when your
heart beats low,
The world you
know breaks down.
I'll give my everything
to keep you on the ground.
Track Name: Be Good (album version)
Be good to your soldiers.
Be kind to your friends.
You never know how much you'll need them
'till the fighting never ends.

Now I've been feeling lonely
like I could use a helping hand,
someone to lighten up this heavy load
and set me right back on my feet again.

Everybody wants to have a good time,
find some people who can make everything seem alright.
But, now we're only sending simple messages
one sentence at a time.

It seems like we're always rushing.
Nobody has much time to spend,
but it takes a lot more then technology
to be somebody's friend.

So, be good to your soldiers.
Be kind to your friends.
You never know how much you'll need them
'till the fighting never ends.
Track Name: Inside The Bone
Walk away in angry shadows dread,
where angels dressed in sagum tread.
Walk away with my unspoken pride.
Here the angriest intentions lie.

Riding out into battle
with a warning sound.
Falling down in the middle
where we meet the
cold, contentious night.

Turn around address
your wounds and faith.
Return the angels
to their sky.

I wait alone now
for this to come.

Here within this
desert din
with tricks in hand
and words of sand

wait for you in the knowing
that the end will greet us
and lead us to the day.

Walk away and know
with you I go
in the common peace
that makes us whole.
We are enlightened,
by truth defined.
We'll find a way
to make things right.
Track Name: Feedback Country
Way down where the golden bird sings
her sweet melody filled with horrible things,
a dark, secret song dancin' all through the wild
creeping through shadows disturbing the night.

Oh, my friend yesterday's gone
still life lingers on
and time feels the same
where powder meets the flame.

Mother stay with me tonight.
Shroud the looking glass,
but don't touch the light.
No matter where I run
can't escape the dishonor in my blood.

Oh, my friend yesterday's gone,
still life lingers on
and time feels the same
where powder meets the flame.

Look around this crowded room
all the faces staring back at you.
Ever wonder why their standing here
separated by the color of their skin?

Here we are in this brand new day.
All our sinful deeds are miles away.
You might think that the damage is done,
but some say there's work to be done.
Track Name: Drummer Song
'Twas a bleak divide over all the stars and stripes
in the war cast spring of '64.
For I was twelve years grown when I forsook my father's home,
enlisted in the "ole 65".

Blood runs wild
as wall crash down.

And as the musket's pitch was long I undertook to play the drum,
though mother cried that I should wend my way so soon.
Yet despite my headstrong bent the soldiers life was wretched wrent
marching up and down the yard from dawn to dusk.

Night winds bend
as heroes descend.

But, through my desperate circumstance came a fortunate advance
when the general issued forth a call to fight.
For to the front line I was sent as he my drum did recommend,
tapping out my calls in time just like a clock.

But, our charge was met
with cannon fire
that lit the sky
and then
the night.

And now I'm dead and gone, but my fable lingers on
through the years and the sympathies we save.
And as the years press on I still play my drum
in the silver morning dew beneath the sky.

Singing lai dai lai da di dai
lai dai da di dai
Dear brothers carry on and turn your hearts forever strong
toward the brave old flag up high.
Track Name: The Crashing Waves (Skychaser)
If we could paint a brighter sky
maybe we could learn to love this life.
Face the madness of our time,
take it all in stride.

History has made mistakes
and promises can always break.
So let's savor all the words we say,
they'll be rewritten someday.

But, you and I we have our ways
tossed together in the crashing waves.

Man could live a billion years,
conquer sadness; no more tears.
Maybe even cure the foolish heart,
but probably not where we are.

But, you and I we have our ways
tossed together in the crashing waves.
If you ever feel you've had enough
don't chase the sky 'cause my love
is here on the ground.

Track Name: For All This Time
When the rain came down
we were lost we were bound
to linger in the fire.
Of all the things we said that day
I am not quite sure you heard.

And though my words were sharp and kind
our tears were not the same.
But I have found another way
to love myself again.

Old enough to walk away
and search for my triumphant day.
Yet the silent tremble of my step
leads me back to where you are.

When we were young
our hearts were bound
to lead us to the prize.

And I envy you
and the things you do
that always turn out right.

But mostly I am glad to have
your care for all this time.
Track Name: My Country's Son (J.D. Flowers)
No hope, no pulse for the morning,
no life in their eyes.
The silence clings to the fallen.
No words can describe.

I guess I know what you're thinking,
it's not quite right
to grab the goods and the spirit
right from a dying man's side.

You would not last one second
to see what I've seen.
The sky lit up with a million
angry ghosts with lead machines.

Say goodbye to your only love,
a kiss for the newborn child.
And take your final stand
as a red silhouette on this hallowed ground.

It's alright.
It's OK if you don't ever hear
a single word I say.

I don't mind
It don't matter 'cause we're
living fast and running out of time.

We live
to be floating in the water,
but the waves are building up.

we will all go under
one way or another.

And now that engine runs
with the song of salvation sung.
Taking me back to the place I love
to the shoulders of peace I run.

I don't pretend to understand
what's wrong or right.
I serve my general and my land
for I am my country's son.
Track Name: Last Song
Light fades under and autumn sky
and blends into the night.
In time all good children
get counted for the fight.

'till the last bird has flown
from it's warm and loving home.
While the mystic chords of memory
are called up, resounding once again.

When fear becomes your only friend
doubts never end.
Like bells in the wind,
you rise up for your song to begin.

And the wars they come
as time catches on.
And it only makes you wonder
how these days go wrong
and keep spinning on and on
and when will it end.

But, it all comes down to this
do you run away, or face the raging wind
And you already know

that if this could be the last song
you sing up to the sky,
let the stars in your heart.
Let the planets spin in your eyes.
Track Name: Little Things
Cool rain receives the brand new day
replacing clouds of yesterday.
The truth is we were never bound
to anything, but stormy sound.

In light you make the best
of what you have.
In darkness pray the day
will find it's light.

And hold to all the little things you are
that add up to the miracle you will become.

And it's so hard
to keep your head above the water
when everything gets take from your life,
which ample time and
fortitude can offer.
It's so easy to get lost
in daily strife.

But memories of everything
are still inside you
like a photograph that's
faded in the sun.

Some pieces lost,
but little things remain.
We'll add them up and
use them to begin again.

You were always full
of eagerness and life.
Not a castaway
concealed from human sight.
Thru the pain, thru the fear
and disappointment full of tears,
I will always be around
to help you fight it.