Morgan James is back with a new song and her unique blend of rock and jazz has never sounded better than it does in “Reckless Abandon,” the title track from her latest album. The Reckless Abandon album is produced by James’ own Hedonist Records and is hot on the market today. As Morgan’s single draws in new fans and delights long-time followers of the singer/songwriter, she opens up about the roots of her musical interests, stemming from classic rock of the ’60s and ’70s, and shares memories of her time performing in Broadway musicals.
Morgan James Sizzles at the Triple Door in Seattle with Tracks from Reckless Abandon
Currently, Morgan James is touring with a four-piece back-up band and, as the Huffington Post reports, those attending shows like the one in Seattle, Washington, will be among the first to experience the new tracks released today on Reckless Abandon. As audiences at the Triple Door can attest, “Reckless Abandon,” like much of James’ music, is an outpouring of emotion, talent, and passion.
Morgan reveals that, as a child, she had dreams of becoming a veterinarian, but, at age 11, all of that changed for her, when she received a karaoke machine.
“I opened my mouth and a big, grown woman came out,” Ms. James recalls of using the gift for the first time.
While that was the beginning of her interest in pursuing music as a career, Morgan admits that she had always been a big music fan and reveals that Joni Mitchell, Mariah Carey, and Aretha Franklin are among her strongest influences. If fans hear those influences in Morgan’s new music, that’s no accident. The “Reckless Abandon” singer says she has always made a conscious effort to meld the sounds of those singers together in her own voice.
James’ unique style can be traced back to her childhood, when her parents exposed her to everything from opera to the Beatles and Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young) through her younger years.
“Honestly, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Joni taught me a lot about harmony,” said Ms. James.
Music Led Morgan James to Broadway
It was Morgan’s first voice teacher, Dawn Peterson, who instilled within her a love for the theater, and as Wisconsin Gazette shares, that would eventually lead Ms. James to New York and to Broadway. Among her Broadway performances, the Reckless Abandon singer/songwriter can count Motown: The Musical and The Addams Family among some of her most memorable, but they are, by no means, her only theatrical endeavors.
More recently, Ms. James appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar, a version Morgan produced herself, though she acknowledges a long list of helpful and creative participants for assisting in making that dream a realization.
What made the musical so unique to Morgan’s style is the fact that it was a female-driven production, both on stage and behind the scenes.
“It was this incredible coming together of all these amazing women. It was an all-female band as well. It was a powerful experience.”
Looking back on her past Broadway experiences, which includes Motown: The Musical, The Addams Family, Godspell, and Wonderland, the singer was asked if she could choose a favorite, but she says each experience has been unique and wonderful in its own way. She adds that coming to each musical, she worked with a host of new, creative people, making each one of them a worthwhile event.
“The Broadway cast experience is a community unlike any other. I could never pick a favorite.”
As might be expected, there is one show that does stand out, though not really because it was significantly better than the others, or because she liked the cast and crew better.
“The Addams Family has a soft spot in my heart because it was my first Broadway show. I had always wanted to perform on Broadway. When I got to achieve that, it felt really special,” recalled Morgan.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]