Bill Morrissey Birches SInger Minnesota

Bill Morrissey was a Grammy nominated American Folk singer and songwriter who lived in New Hampshire. He was born on November 25, 1951.


His early life was based in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts but it was in New Hampshire where he had created all his music. In his early days he was inspired by the American county blues of Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson, the pure country of Hank Williams”. His songs used to reflect human emotions and he sang songs about human conditions.

It could be love, sadness or happiness. He had a power to show hilarious situations and then end his song with a heart-breaking song. He died of a heart disease when he was touring the Southern States and was about to return home. He was married to his longtime friend Karas who later on became his manager, then a lover and eventually married him. Bill proposed to her by writing the song “Off White”.

 His music was very distinctive and included his voice with a guitar picking impeccably. The music was supported by lyrics which showcased his hold on literature. However, he also had written a novel Edson which was a best-selling novel. This novel was also translated into French. He was working on his Memoirs when he passed away. He was born in Hartford to Joseph Morrissey who was into the business of Insurance and his wife Marion. They were three siblings.

The Morrissey family lived in Wethersfield, Eastampton and Action. In 1969, he graduated from Acton- Boxborough High school. In one of the conversations with his brothers they said that Bill brought his first guitar when he was 13 years old and learnt to play it all by himself. Thus, he could enter his jug band in high school. He studied literature from Plymouth State college but did not find it interesting and started touring the roads at the early age of 19. He travelled for work and found himself in Alaska when he got a job in a fishing boat.

He later went to California and did small jobs and eventually settled in New Hampshire. He got a job in a mill about which he wrote a song. This was then he started to get recognized. According to critics his songs were beyond excellent. One of his students Ed Gerhard, who taught guitar lessons from him in his teens stated that he thrived for excellence and he gained it. He was one of the most gifted musicians of his times.


His first album release in 1984 known as Eponymous on the Reckless Label which was later re-recorded for another label known as Philp. This had included the song Small Town on The River. This song was about a small town in New Hampshire which depicts the town after the mill closes. Out of his twelve albums two were nominated for the Grammys. His songs even were appreciated by Rolling stone. He also had written two novels (Edson) and Imaginary Runner which was published after his death in 2011. Come running was Bill Morrissey’s last album which was released in 2007. His most popular songs were “Party at the U.N “and “Grizzly Bear.

Bill Morrissey Albums

1977 Live Free or Die (single) and Trailer Park (b side)

1984 Bill Morrissey (first album)

1986 North

1989 Standing Eight

1991 Bill Morrissey

1992 Inside (Rounder/Philo 1145)

1993 Friend of Mine (with Greg Brown)

1993 Night Train (Rounder/Philo 1154)

1996 You’ll Never Get to Heaven

1999 Songs of Mississippi John Hurt

2001 Something I Saw or Thought I Saw

2004 Bill Morrissey: The Essential Collection

2007 Come Running

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