Matt Morris talks the Beatles, Tori Amos, Aretha and more - Reverb

Long and Winding Road: Matt Morris

Matt Morris, seen here at the Bluebird Theater in 2010, will return to the venue on Friday. Photo by Brian Carney.

Matt Morris, seen here at the Bluebird Theater in 2010, will return to the venue on Friday. Photo by Brian Carney.

Do you remember your first record? Your first concert? Well this isn’t about that. This Long and Winding Road is about three artists/records that influenced you over the years –- you as a musician, Matt Morris. So let’s talk about your road.

6 years old: The Beatles

There was a radio station in Denver that played the Beatles music every Sunday morning. My mom and I used to listen to it on the way to church, and I’d sing along to all the songs I knew (which were most of them). The Beatles and Jesus … seemed like a natural combo to me, at the time. You know … Mother Mary, Father McKenzie, all the lonely people … it all fit together.

14 years old: Tori Amos

Tori Amos got me through my teenage years. As a queer kid, not quite sure what that meant or how I was supposed to fit into the world, I found her music comforting; reassuring. “Little Earthquakes” was a revelation to me. When she sang, “You Christian boys … so you can make me come, it doesn’t make you Jesus,” I near ’bout died.

Now (31 years old — 32 on May 9th): Aretha Franklin, the Police, Peter Gabriel and Patty Griffin

I learned what soul singing was from Aretha, and she still shows up in my melodies. Since last year I’ve been playing the bass in my shows, and I lean towards the same ska-influenced, rhythmic grooves that show up on early Police records. I’m eclectic by nature, and there always seems to be room for eclecticism on Peter Gabriel’s albums. And then there’s Patty. She gets up on stage, strums the guitar and sings songs. That’s all she needs to do … This is sorta the hybrid I’d like to be.

Matt Morris headlines the Bluebird Theater on Friday. Danielle Ate the Sandwich opens the show. Tickets, $12.50-$15, are available via Ticketmaster.