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Cary Morin's "Innocent Allies" Evokes Scenes from Charlie Russell's Old West

Born in Montana, now living in Colorado, songwriter Cary Morin has spent his entire life in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains. In his latest release, he paints and sculpts scenes borne of the landscape of his native state, all in tribute to the painter, sculptor, conservationist, and outdoorsman, Charles Marion Russell. We talked to Cary about the project, how Russell's art influenced his own, and a possible shared family history surrounding Great Falls, Carthage and Ulm, Montana.

For those who listen to High Plains Morning regularly, you’re likely quite familiar with the name Cary Morin. We’ve been spinning his music regularly since I’ve been hosting this show, especially since he’s got ties to Colorado – one of the five states in HPPR’s coverage area.

Cary’s dedication to telling the stories of the Plains, the West, the land, the water – it goes back 30 years now, so I was ecstatic to welcome this brilliant singer, songwriter, storyteller, and one of our region's most legendary guitar players to join me on air to discuss his latest album, Innocent Allies. The songs on this record all have roots in Cary's early exposure to the work and life of Montana-based artist Charles Marion Russell.

To hear the full interview, as well as a couple of songs from the album, click the link at the top of this page. For more about Cary's latest tour or to learn more abou this music, visit his website. Here's a link to the upcoming tour dates on the West coast and in Colorado. If you'd like to reach out to him, contact ContactUs@MapleStreetMusic.com.

Read more about the project here, and check out this reviewof the album from music journalist, Alan Cackett. To see more of Russell's work, visit the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT. Here's the painting we referenced in our conversation, Indian Hunters Return, which is also the name of one of my favorite tracks on the record.

Indian Hunters Return by C.M. Russell; circa 1900; Oil on canvas.
Indian Hunters Return by C.M. Russell; circa 1900; Oil on canvas.

Jenny Inzerillo joined HPPR in 2015 as the host of High Plains Morning, our live music program that airs weekdays at 9 am to noon CST. Broadcasting from KJJP in beautiful downtown Amarillo, she helps listeners wake up with inspired music from our region and beyond. Tune in for new voices in folk/Americana, deep cuts from your favorite artists, soulful tracks from singer/songwriters across the world, and toe-tapping classics dating as far back as the 1920s. Plus, discover underground greats that just might be your new favorite band.