Singer-songwriter Finlay Morton was born in Aberdeen and taught himself to play his older brother’s Epiphone guitar at the tender age of ten. His influences are varied, ranging from blues players Sonny Terry with Brownie McGee, to Scottish folk act The Corries, to the classic sounds of Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Little Feat and Tom Petty. At 18, he packed up his guitar and moved to London to play in a band. Whilst playing in various bands, Morton also worked as a sound engineer, including working in Downing Street as official sound engineer.
In 2004 Morton had a chance meeting with producer Pip Williams (Moody Blues, Status Quo) which resulted in his first self-penned album Interpret This, released in 2006. Two singles went to radio with resulting airplay on regional radio stations throughout the UK along with a successful acoustic tour with guitarist Greg Bone.
In 2008, Finlay began working on his second album Back to Basics at Wendyhouse Studios in West London. In the midst of the mixing, Finlay suffered a heart attack. Thanks to speedy medical attention, Morton was back to work in only a few days. His first single “Scary Monsters” was released later that year with more radio support. Legendary Los Angeles-based producer John Ryan (Santana, Smashing Pumpkins) heard the song and offered to remix the album. Morton jumped at such an opportunity, sending his masters to Ryan and Back to Basics 2009 was made. The first single “The Devil Ain’t Getting My Soul” garnered airplay throughout the U.K. and U.S.
Morton continued his musical journey in 2013 with the release of Harvest The Wind. During his first U.S. tour, he visited a radio station in Taos, New Mexico which is 100% powered by solar energy. This greatly intrigued the musician who was already very keen on alternative energy sources, thus, the lyric from the lead track (also the album’s title) to “Hoist up your solar sails” was born in the United States. The first single from Harvest The Wind was “Do You Believe In Ghosts” which featured guitar work from Steve Hackett of Genesis.
Other standouts included “Chasing The American Dream”, the countrified “Babe You Can’t Have My Guitar” , and the rocky “Don’t Cry For Corporate America”.
This brings us right up to date and Finlay releases his latest album on February 6th 2017. Entitled “Only Half A Live”, it is Finlay’s 4th album, and, as the title suggests, is made up of half studio tracks, and half live performance, the latter coming from an intimate showcase gig at the BBC Club in London W1, playing songs from previous albums “Harvest The Wind” and “Back To Basics”. The new studio tracks tip their hats to many genres from the countrified “Drinking With A Different Hand” and (the single) “Can We Work This Out”, through the raucous “Killing Me”, the haunting “Man With The Empty Eyes” to the bitter/sweet positivity of “Trying Real Hard”.
Finlay combines folk, rock, and blues with a mesmerizing helping of country grandeur, to provide a haunting and compelling backdrop for his tales of pain, loss and mortality that are eased by his natural humour. His vocals possess a whispery mystique which imparts a warm familiar sensibility which nods to his influences but is not derivative The album’s final mix has again been done by Adrian Hall, a producer and engineer who has worked on recordings with many big artists including Alicia Keys, Ray Davies, Simply Red to name a few.
A UK tour is planned to support the release with dates to be announced in January 2017.
In an interesting side story, Finlay is also a co-founder of rapidly developing London internet radio station Soho Radio.