Rogue Show Preview: The Spencer Morris Group

Feb 16, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Music

by David Spencer

The Rogue Festival will be here soon-it opens on March 1! Here is another Rogue Performer Preview article, with another one going up today as well, and more coming this week-you will be able to find them all in our Arts & Entertainment section. We also have a Rogue Festival event page with many of their press releases, and an article about this year’s Muse.

David Spencer and Randy Morris have been playing the Tower District Rogue Festival for the past thirteen years. Aside from this they have performed locally in coffee shops, political events, weddings, on public radio and local TV, and recently headlined an art festival held in Oakhurst.

Featuring the songs, guitar, and vocals of David Spencer and the saxophone, percussion, vocals, and recitation voice of Randy Morris, they present songs inspired by decades of living in the valley along with a consideration of a lifetime of cultural change in the larger world. Known for songs like “Low Riders on Blackstone,” “Hooked on Kung Fu,” “You and Your Monkey,” along with occasional standards like the “St. James Infirmary Blues,” they continue their tradition with fresh material that deals with Batmania (starting with the 1966 TV show), driver training class, college theater, switching from DC to Marvel comics, along with more general topics such as the survival of love in a difficult time, and the afterglow from memories of love.

rogue festival

Spencer Morris

David Spencer and Randy Morris both attended Fresno High, graduating in 1972, the year the original three-story buildings were torn down and replaced by the bunkers the school was until it was again rebuilt forty years later. Randy stepped on the school stage many times in band formations while David was a shy artistic recluse who played guitar in his room and developed his own outsider perspective on life. They both gravitated toward making a living as school teachers, met at a grade level district meeting, and eventually started jamming together and performing in public.

In the years between high school and teaching, David formed a band called Mojo Symphony that experienced enough success to be archived on public radio, and enter the semi-pro class of musician. Randy has played with various local jazz groups and has been a regular DJ for KFSR.

Although listed as jazz and blues, they draw from all forms of music, and this year perform a lyrical rewrite to Reverend Gary Davis’s Cocaine blues, along with a song based on the old cowboy song Chisolm Trail telling of the legendary valley Tye Dyed Hippie.

In the intimate venue behind Veni Vedi Vici, their show debuts Friday, March 1, at 6:45 p.m. and runs four shows that end on Saturday, March 9, at 4:15 pm. and is well worth the admission price and your time. Tickets can be purchased n the Rogue Festival website.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 12 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean.

If you are a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan check out Nicholas Brendon’s (Xander) Meet and Greet Tour!


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