Morris On + Son of Morris On
Morris On was a 1972 folk-rock "super-group" that left behind one self-titled album (think of them sort of like folk's Blind Faith, only more successful artistically), recorded for Island Records. Comprised of bassist Ashley Hutchings (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Albion Band), guitarist Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention), drummer Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span), accordionist John Kirkpatrick (Albion Band, Steeleye Span), and fiddler Barry Dransfield (the Humblebums, the Dransfields), the group had a deliberately less-polished, more authentically rough-hewn sound than either Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention, as though proper traditional musicians had suddenly gotten hold of electric guitars, basses, and drum kits.
Morris On was successful enough to lead to another go-around (Son of Morris On), and their first album is in print on compact disc in America from Hannibal Records. In terms of popularity outside of folk circles, the group's impact was negligible, being too authentically coarse and unstudied to appeal to mass audiences in the manner of Fairport or Steeleye. On the other hand, anyone wishing to hear songs such as "Staines Morris" or "Cuckoo's Nest" in versions close to what they sounded like in their own environments could do far worse than check out Morris On. The group name, incidentally, refers to morris dancing, a form of folk dance often practiced in England on May Day, in which the participants wear costumes associated with characters out of legend, especially the Robin Hood stories. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide