Morgan Haner failed music school auditions.
From the humble beginnings of self recorded teenage basement tapes, 2 hours from any interstate in Illinois corn country, his more recent songs have been curated onto “best of” lists from Spain to Brazil and beyond.
His songs tell stories in the great tradition of American songwriting, with themes that stretch out over time and oceans, translating into being a human in the 21st century. They are living records of history, connecting us to lives that have come and gone, to their struggles, and to our own daily joys and tragedies. Morgan Haner is not a singer songwriter. He is a working class song smith who puts you directly into someone else's shoes.
After self producing two albums and an EP with his previous bands (Cavepainters and Look Out Lincoln), he chose to do it again with his newest release, Pocket Knife. Having already recorded the monster 15 track full length Transmitter Blues in 2017, with a full rock and roll outfit, Pocket Knife was made entirely by Morgan, in the social distance of 2021. The songs have more room to breathe and experiment on his latest record, reminding us of late Townes Van Zandt records.
With only nine tracks that traverse an entire life and time here in America, the dusty track “Bandolier” stands as kin with the heartbreak in “Embroidered Rose”. Whether we like it or not, we are bound together by sea, by story, by song, and by history.