By Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer (Choctaw Nation), Artist in Business Leadership Fellow 2015
Cary Morin (Crow/Assiniboine) crafts an inimitable style often characterized as acoustic Native Americana with qualities of blues, bluegrass, jazz, jam, reggae, and dance. He has composed and performed music for over 30 years. He’s toured across the US and around the world.
Cary recently won the Manito Ahbee Indigenous Music Awards for Best Blues CD. In 2013, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Fort Collins Music Association.
A full-time artist, Cary was awarded a First Peoples Fund Artists in Business Leadership Fellowship, enabling him to hire a publicist for the first time to help promote his newest album, Laid Back. He and his wife Celeste, also his manager, live in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Some call it Native Americana. A master storyteller in music, Cary weaves a tapestry of words, styles, and soul into an experience that brings life full circle. His sound is a product of every musician he’s worked with or listened to. He’s a musician with something to say, and he knows how to sing it with his gritty, lived-in voice and nimble yet soulful finger style acoustic guitar picking.
Under the lights on stage, sounds come to Cary and flow out as new music. He explores in the moment, and sometimes his creations are for then alone and gone forever. He strives for those moments.
When he can recreate them, they become his next CD. “I’m happiest with recorded material when it mirrors the live performance,” Carey said. “The songs are created in stages, lyrics in the moment matched with guitar melodies created either during rehearsal or in front of the audience. The lyrical content of the songs vary. Some discuss my native heritage, some my current surroundings, and some are fictional ballads.”
Human emotion is the root of song and the result of song. Cary wants to move the audience, for the song to evoke emotion, to bring tears to them and him.
Cary’s Crow heritage isn’t always obvious in his lyrics, but he’s learned the importance of heritage, how people need a story and a homeland. He wants to discover what makes people happy or sad, what creates moments that are only there for a fraction of time yet live forever in memory. “I feel a sense of accomplishment when all I have learned and created over the years gives the listener a moment of reflection,” he said.