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In the spotlight: James Morrison aka Gandalf Mornington

James Morrison, known in SecondLife as Gandalf Mornington, lives in the state of

I’m a strummer playing Folk, soft rock, a little new country. Mostly songs from the 60s and 70s but trying to expand that. Plus some originals including collaborations with Duskyrose Deir.

Connecticut in the U.S., and is a long time performer, as well as a frequent attendee at SecondLife music jams. James took time to answer some questions about his musical background, tastes and experience...

MDS: What are some of your earliest memories of music in your life?

JM: Mother playin piano and piano lessons at 6. Dad playing Jazz, Classical and Folk on his record player.

MDS: Who were the performers or songs that you remember most vividly loving to listen to

when you were in your youth?

JM: Peter Paul and Mary, The New Christy Minstrels then

later Chicago, Crosby Still and Nash.

MDS: Were there any memorable live music events you attended?

JM: The Most notable was

Watkins Glen in 1973.   This was The Grateful Dead, The Band and The Allman Brothers.   I think it was at Midnight Saturday night all three bands were on stage!

MDS: That sounds pretty awesome! Who are some of your favorite performers in SecondLife?

JM: There are so many that is hard to pick just a couple.  Marqs DeSade - his take on life through his originals, Ed Lowell - has some great originals and uses his Mandolin and flute to make others sound better, Hojo Warf - makes the fiddle sing and makes those he plays behind sound better. There are many others and new ones keep popping up!

MDS: Have you attended a RL concert or live music performance recently?  If so, who/what kind of music/what kind of venue.. and how would  you rate the concert experience..and why?

JM: I go to a number of open mics in RL and the venues range from bar to coffee

shop to places that have a stage. The music, as you would expect, varies

tremendously, Additionally, I go to the Swannanoa Gathering most every year and the

instructors, (Tom Paxton, Ellis Paul, Janice Ian, Don Henry, Jon Vezner, Amy Speace,

Kathy Mattea and many more), give short performances over 3 nights. This experience

is pretty awesome.

MDS: How old were you when you first began to play/sing, and what inspired you to


JM: 6 when I first started taking Piano lessons.   My parents insisted.   I also took

cello for 6 months then after several moves  I took Chorus in HS and the teacher

pushed me to do more singing.  Guitar I picked up a little in HS with an electric guitar

and then taught myself basic strumming when I took off a year between HS and

college.  Played guitar for a few years then put it down until I was around 55.

MDS: Who would you say your musical influences were, and what was it about their music or style that you felt drawn to and/or wanted to emulate in your own music?

JM: Folk musicians in general. Simple sounds and powerful messages delivered with their music.

MDS: How would you describe your own musical style?

JM: I’m a strummer playing Folk, soft rock, a little new country. Mostly songs from the 60s and 70s but trying to expand that. Plus some originals including collaborations with Duskyrose Deir.

MDS: As a performer/musician, what is it that you feel you gain from performing?

 What makes it worth the effort?

JM: I get joy from just playing and singing. The super thrill is watching people get enjoyment from my music!!

MDS: What's the biggest challenge of performing for you? in SecondLife or Real Life, or both?

JM: Confidence!! My confidence level goes up and down which makes it hard to play sometimes.

Thank you, Jim, "Gandy", for taking the time to share your musical journey, thoughts, and interests with us! Check out some of Jim's music and his website below!

-♫ M ♫-

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