Keith Morris | Songs from Candyapolis

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Songs from Candyapolis

by Keith Morris

A finely crafted and musically overflowing song cycle: from Pentecostal, snake-handling Gospel to dreamlike odes to Appalachian hoe-downs to achingly beautiful lullabies.
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Rainbow Rollercoaster
3:28 $0.99
2. Cross-Eyed John
4:16 $0.99
3. Billie Weir's Dress
5:40 $0.99
4. Casper the Friendly Ghost
3:11 $0.99
5. Little Cameron
3:43 $0.99
6. Candy Apples
3:23 $0.99
7. Snow Day
3:21 $0.99
8. Baby Saves World
4:00 $0.99
9. Anabel Says
4:03 $0.99
10. October Lullaby
5:36 $0.99
11. Mockingbird
3:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
City Salvage Records proudly announces the release of “Songs From Candyapolis,” the debut album by songwriter Keith Morris. Produced exquisitely by Morris and Jeff Romano (Corey Harris, Devon Sproule, Paul Curreri, Old School Freight Train), and featuring musicians cherry-picked from the fertile Charlottesville, Virginia music scene (Morwenna Lasko, Brandon Collins, the Hogwaller Ramblers, Richelle Claiborne, Paul Curreri, Devon Sproule, and more), “Candyapolis” is, in CSR founder Andy Friedman's words, "a masterful sucker-punch of an album, all daring and original, that grows on you like the kudzu it jumped out of."

The musical moods here run the gamut: from Pentecostal, snake-handling Gospel to dreamlike odes to Appalachian hoe-downs; from quietly whispered prayers to unhinged rave-ups to transporting lullabies. Apropos of the album’s wide-open perspective and emotional honesty, "Candyapolis" also features a rocking and redefining cover of Daniel Johnston's "Casper The Friendly Ghost." It's a siginificant album; one that draws the listener into a world all its own. One that rewards close attention and reveals more and more with each listen. The songs here were collected over 10 years of writing, with two years spent recording and crafting them with Romano at Greenwood Studios.

"When we began work, Keith played tapes of the songs he'd recorded," explains producer Jeff Romano. "I heard gospel, I heard rock, I heard classical. It was a project with huge variety and scope. We brainstormed on musicians we know from Charlottesville, brought them in, then basically turned them loose, and things really took off. We finished the album over a year ago, and listening to it now, it's just a really honest, really fine record. There's never a forced moment or a note that doesn't care. It's a testament to the notion that fine art can come off the pen immediately with no distance between the imagination and the final sculpture. As a songwriter, Keith brings himself to bear so thoroughly, and it's infectious. You feel the inner life strongly in these songs."

Morris, who's been writing songs for many years, "decided to make this particular record because it dawned on me that I had stumbled onto some odd, new musical territory here. These songs have their own voice--sometimes, they seem to be speaking in their own native tongue. For most of these songs, I didn't feel like I was writing them so much as receiving them, and that's what makes them special to me. It’s like they came from another place.”

PHONE: 434-979-2749

Candyapolis Raves

In "Candyapolis," the fears ("Little Cameron"), fantasies ("Rainbow Rollercoaster"), and follies ("Candy Apples") of the child mingle with the part in everyone that never grows up. Childhood wonder ("Snow Day") co-exists with loss of innocence ("Billie Weir's Dress"). Keith Morris' album of twisted lullabies evokes that intersection in toe-tapping barnburners with raucous choruses and in quiet melodies ("October Lullaby"). Morris has found a perfect partner to realize his gentle lunatic dream in co-producer Jeff Romano and his Charlottesville regulars. Morwenna Lasko's fiddle alternately swings hard and sways gently ("October Lullaby"). Sandy Grey (electric guitar) and Romano (harmonica) catch fire in a duet (Daniel Johnston's "Caspar the Friendly Ghost") over Jennifer Morris's perfectly screwball la-la-las. Richelle Claiborne's backing vocals are a force of nature ("Cross-Eyed John, Ain't Got No Brain"). Part-if not all-of Morris lives in Candyapolis. You live completely in the real world. But when you catch yourself humming, "Cross-Eyed John," better check your address.
David Kleiner
Minor 7th

Few artists could walk you through the varied nooks and neighborhoods of Candyapolis and make them real, in all their grime and glory, and breathe them to life, without somehow stealing away their magic. Keith Morris leads this tour like a true street hustler/spirit guide.
Danny Schmidt, songwriter

Like some rambling, twisted Garrison Keillor children’s story where whimsical monsters battle Satchel Paige for sugary carnival treats, there’s enough lyrical inventiveness and good humor here to warrant multiple listens, and fans of the genre might find this a new favorite.
Cripsy Duck

I thoroughly love this album. Voice, songs, production--all classic. I was engaged at first listen. It sounds like Ryan Adams fronting some kinda alt-country-Leonard Cohen-introspective-grandeur combo (and I mean that in the best possible way.) He's onto something.
Shannon Wells
Music Columnist
Charlottesville Daily Progress

Damn fine effort. Achingly beautiful melodies here and there reminded me of the feel of Kurt Wagner's (Lambchop) lyrics and delivery, but without the detached irony.
Tom House

I absolutely love "Candyapolis"! It's one of a kind. The songs, and the way they are presented, emote a long forgotten spontaneous innocence that most of us have but think we're way too cool to reveal. Another thing I appreciate is that it's not the same old story on there. There's imagination, tenderness, playfulness, and a wild side...and ain't nothin' on there about global warming, thank you!
Mary Gordon Hall

You really HAVE to hear this album! It's so much fun. One of my absolute favorites.
Paul Curreri

Candyapolis covers all the important ground: I can make dinner to it, yes, but also, in the car, or under headphones, I can always find a new lyric, a new reference, or turn of phrase, to wonder at. Jeff Romano's production is wondrously loose and yet entirely bulletproof -- nothing I would change. If ballading Beck had roots as deep, had both driven a cab and taught English in a backwoods Virginia college, perhaps his whine would have the same transporting depth as Keith Morris's.
Devon Sproule



to write a review

B. Arnold

Keith Morris is such a keen ambassador for Candyapolis that it seems he’ll meet you for a tour, musically speaking, at whatever time and place you feel most comfortable. That is, if you’re looking for a hand-clapping gospel tune, a delightful melody or even a lullaby to sing your Love to sleep, come by for a visit; it’s so full of fun sounds, he’ll surely make you feel welcomed. Or, if you’re ready to shake up your worldview and hear an ironic critique of religious doctrine (especially of that which was born in the South), or of racial tensions, or if you’re just ready to consider that the monsters in your closet might not be as scary as you imagine them to be, then come on over to Candyapolis and stay a while – this place just might feel like home. And, while Morris had support from his Charlottesville, Virginia musical cohorts, it is clear that the genesis (genius) of this album preceded life in his current Central Virginia home. Growing up deep in the South in the ‘70’s, and somehow managing to gain a critical view of the status quo at an early age, combine with his subsequent life experience to show a very unique perspective of the world, and one that will make you glad you took the time to stop by for a listen.

Cindy Davis

Best of the Best
Candyapolis just fabulous! All thumbs-up for sure!
If you have not heard this one yet, you are missing out on some of the best of the best!

Amanda Harvey

You need this album.
The first time I listened to this album, I hit play and began to clean up my kitchen. I hadn't finished scrubbing the first pan when I paused to fix myself a gin and tonic. The next thing I knew, the dishes had been abandoned for good, and I found myself swishing my skirt from room to room, induced to grooves and moves I didn't know I possessed. That's what this album does...the music penetrates the skin in no time flat and finds it's way to your bones. Really, I dare you not to move when Morris lays it down on Daniel Johnston's Casper the Friendly Ghost (accompanied by the sweetest 'la la la's you'll ever hear, courtesy of the lovely Jen Morris), or when the harmonies on Candy Apples echo with gritty, soulful resonance.

By the time you've finished your second drink and danced yourself silly, Candyopolis begins to soothe your brow and tucks the blanket lightly under your chin as Morris serenades you off to dream land with lullabies that invoke the peace of childhood slumber. The trill of October Lullaby is nothing short of a kiss to the forehead at day's end.
From start to finish, this album delivers. Just leave the dishes for morning.

Cat Herrington

Very cool
This album is fabulous; it can be enjoyed on many different levels and showcases a unique, insightful, sometimes surprising, but always honest view of the world. One listen will hook you.


There are very few albums that are great from the first note to the last, this here is one of them. From the fiddle that starts "Rainbow Roller Coaster" you're sucked in. The Band, the voices, the production, the words, all spectacular. The beauty that lies in this is often times makes me jump up, and lasso the air, just because I'm that psyched about it!

Brady Earnhart

Joyous stuff
Candyapolis is a tent revival for backsliding ex-kids. Smart, playful, brave, original, eclectic, literate . . . proof that smiles don't have to be bland.

Adam Zeitz

Songs from Candyapolis is quickly becoming an "old favorite."