Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Morris Brothers at Conway (SC) Farmers Market

Each Saturday during the spring, summer, and fall there's a farmers Market held near the Old Peanut Wearhouse in Conway, SC right under the 501 bridge leading into the center of town.  Each Saturday, also, there's a bluegrass band performing.  We took Halloween morning to drive out to Conway to see our old friends The Morris Brothers perform for the final farmers market of the season.  Matt and Mike Morris, originally from West Virginia, have lived in Aynor, SC (about 30 miles west of Myrtle Beach) for most of their adult lives and performed locally and regionally.  Their brother harmonies and mostly traditional picking represent some of the best that local professional bands have to offer.  On this day they performed with Tammy Holt on bass as a trio, but have recently added both a mandolin and a fiddle to their larger gigs.

The Morris Brothers

Matt Morris

Mike Morris

Tammy Holt

During their two hour uninterrupted performance, the Morris Brothers sang and picked old bluegrass favorites like Rocky Top, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Dueling Banjos, and the Ballad of Jed Clampett on request.  They also played some of Matt's pleasing compositions.  Mike is an excellent Reno style picker, so he put in several Reno style songs as well as lots of very good Scruggs picking.  He also played a somewhat unusual and very good version of Ghost Riders in the Sky.  They played plenty of gospel music, which was very well received, including an especially fervent "Victory is Sweet" sung by Mike.  The Morris Brothers represent what is best about local pickers who have reached a highly competent professional level without seeming to want to reach too far away from their home territory where their devotion to family, church, work, and home are evident.  Devoted fans, including the boys' father came to listen and sing along, despite the steady rain falling just outside the shed. Both Mike and Matt play very good instruments crafted by Tammy's husband Terry Holt in the Holt Music Shed. Check his work out here.

The Market and Some Faces of Bluegrass


Singing With Dad Morris

Victory Is Sweet


  1. More great reporting, Ted. Can you tell me what kind of banjo Mike Morris is playing. It is quite different from anything I've seen before.

  2. Thanks, Jim. It's a Holt, made by Terry Holt, a local luthier. There's a link in the text of my post to his Music Shed.

  3. What a neat gig that is. Remind me to put that on my to-do list next spring.