68 The Show in the Abbotsford News

Eli Williams in the Abbotsford News

One of my bands that I play guitar in, The Memphis Sound with Eli Williams, is in the Abbotsford News this week, talking about our upcoming show: A complete recreation of the Elvis 1968 Comeback TV special. We're doing the whole show live on stage!

More details about the show are here on our Memphis Sound page.

At the beginning of the '68 Special TV project, a nervous Presley had said to the executive producer Bob Finkel: "I want everyone to know what I can really do." And that's exactly what happened. The '68 Special is widely credited with revitalizing his career.

Eli Willilams is an award-winning Elvis impersonator. We are re-creating the 1968 Special live on stage. The show will include all the music, costumes, and even the dance numbers choreographed for three dancers by the The Hot Pants go-go troupe.

The show will include both the "black leather sit down show" in which the band plays classic Elvis tunes in a rehearsal style, the drummer banging on a guitar case rather than drums, and the big production numbers like "Trouble" and "Guitar Man."


Mar 28, 2015 - MCA Theatre Abbotsford

Elvis Presley Comeback Special recreated live on stage with Eli Williams and the "Memphis Sound." TICKETS: available online from the Brown Paper Tickets.

May 23, 2015 - Inlet Theatre, Port Moody

Elvis Presley Comeback Special recreated live on stage with Eli Williams and the "Memphis Sound." TICKETS: available online from the City of Port Moody.

Gale Song Guitar Cover - Blue and Sam

My student, Sam, and I have been playing this song together for a while. We were practicing it for an upcoming open mic that Sam will be performing at so we thought we would video it to see how she sounds.

The song is "Gale Song" by the Lumineers.

I'll also post the guitar chords to this song if any of my students want to try it out. Here they are below. Click "Read More" to see all the chords and lyrics.

Gale Song -- The Lumineers


        F      C
It's a lonely road
        Am     C
For the tired man
             Am     G        C
And they can see it in your face
              F        C
And you'll be home in spring
     Am          C
I can wait till then
Am             G       F   C
I heard you're on the big train

Read more: Gale Song Guitar Cover - Blue and Sam

Rehearsal Video - Elvis' Baby What You Want Want Me to Do

Our new production, '68 The Show, is coming up soon so we've been rehearsing the "in the round" section of the show. This is a re-creation of the 1968 comeback TV special performed live on stage.

In this part of the TV show, the band played just as they sometimes did backstage: No drum kit, no bass, just a few guitars and a guitar case to hit with drum sticks. That's exactly what we're doing here in rehearsal.

The song is "Baby What You Want Me To Do." That's Eli Williams as Elvis, Blue Morris on guitar, Eric Rasmusson on the guitar case, Alex Kelley on guitar, and of course Ringo the dog!

Is Rock and Roll Old-Timey Music?

Bo Diddley was a 50s rocker

Our band the Rockwells specialize in a mix of 50s and 60s rock and soul hits. It occurred to me recently that much of this guitar based music we play is over half a century old. That "Old Time Rock and Roll" is truly getting old, though aging well. We still have audiences of all ages dancing and bopping along to the music. And many younger people even know the words to lots of Beatles songs.

When I was a teenager it seemed to me that jazz was "old-timey" music. I loved it and in my twenties I frequented the few places that one could go see live jazz in Vancouver (R.I.P. the Hot Jazz Club, and that one that was in a former church that burned down, can't remember it's name it was so many years ago). I even formed a swing jazz band that played for swing dances for a few years in Vancouver.

I hear people in the jazz world frequently talk about "preserving the music for future generations." Will we be saying this about rock any time soon?

Sure there are still many rock bands out there, and "Hey Hey My My" rock is still very much alive. It's nice to think a musical style will be highly popular forever, but there is no musical genre that has ever maintained a high level of popularity forever.

Sure we still have symphonies, chamber music festivals, jazz festivals, and blues festivals, but these are not the genres that we hear most on the radio stations and it's not the music that sells most on iTunes. We don't often see people shelling out hundreds of dollars a ticket to fill stadiums to watch symphonies.

If you do a search for "rock and roll preservation" you'll see there are already some organizations calling themselves Rock and Roll preservation societies. You could say The Rock and Roll Hall Fame is just that on a larger scale.

We still do have big rock concerts, and I hope we do for long. The thing about rock is that it's so approachable. It's pretty easy for listeners to digest, even if you're not an expert on the genre. Most of it is toe-tapping, energetic, emotive, and not complex. A lot of rock music is also pretty easy to play which means many new and less experienced musicians try it out. All you need is a cheap guitar and some guitar lessons.

The guitar is the most popular instrument in the world because it's relatively easy to learn, it's inexpensive, and it's portable. So I'm betting the humble guitar in all its forms will still be popular at least when I'm 64.

If it doesn't, that's okay because I'll still be that guy on stage rocking out and talking about "preserving the music for future generations." And if needs be, I will form a Vancouver Rock and Roll Preservation Society.

Upcoming Shows for Spring 2015

We've been working on some brand new shows for this season and we'll be bringing back Tarantino Burlesque in April, and a brand new show: Elvis '68 Comeback Special live on stage!

You can check my website's calendar for all the dates on the shows: Blue Morris' Productions Upcoming Shows

Here are two upcoming shows this week:

Chris Murdoch Circus arts

Tues Feb 24th, 9pm
Guilt & Co. in Gastown

Our band The Rockwells will be performing our favourite rock hits from the 50s and 60s, backing up our favourite Vancouver circus performers.

The show includes circus arts from Chris Murdoch and Yuki Ueda, plus burlesque from Voodoo Pixie.

It's only $10 to get in to the show. Tickets are available at the door.

More info is available on the Facebook invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/608030349330994/

David Ward solo concert Vol. 1

Friday Feb 27, 8pm
Blue Morris Studio

I am hosting a concert at my home studio featuring my good friend David Ward, to celebrate the release of his upcoming new EP, "Transitioning."

The show is a solo show. David has an incredible voice and he's a brilliant songwriter. It's going to be a real treat to have him perform here in my studio.

David and I will also play a duet for everyone at some point in the night. I won't spoil it but I'm betting it will be a Beatles song.

Tickets are only $20, available on Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1218239