Sunday morning music


Steve Morse has been the lead guitarist with British rock group Deep Purple since 1994, taking the place of the legendary Ritchie Blackmore.  He’s equally accomplished as a guitarist, and in some ways I think has surpassed his famous predecessor.  Wikipedia says of him:

Morse is considered one of the hardest working guitarists in the world. He is widely known for his stylistically diverse compositional skills and was voted “Best Overall Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine for five years in a row, qualifying him for its “Guitar Player Hall of Fame”, the only other members being Steve Howe of Yes and Eric Johnson. He is regularly cited by John Petrucci as a major influence. Guitarist Shawn Lane regarded Steve Morse as one of the most talented guitarists of his time. Ritchie Blackmore, who preceded Morse in Deep Purple, has stated, “Steve Morse is an incredible player. A lot of people try to get some wisecrack out of me, but when you’re talking about guitar players along Morse’s caliber, they’re brilliant.” Morse has proven himself throughout his career as capable of playing highly complex chord structures in classical sequences, as well as being able to play fast, alternate picked arpeggios. He is well known for using harmonics and improvising them in songs during live performances, such as in Deep Purple’s “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming”.

He not only performs with Deep Purple, but has developed a solo career as well.  I’d like to bring you a few of his instrumental pieces this morning, as well as what I regard as one of his highlights with Deep Purple.

Let’s begin with “Air on a 6 String” from his 2005 album “Prime Cuts”.

From 2009’s “Prime Cuts 2” album, here’s “Ghost of the Bayou”.

From 2016’s “The Sessions”, here’s the opening track, “Freedom”.

And, from 2009’s “Out Standing In Their Field”, here’s “Baroque ‘N Dreams”.

Finally, just to show how well he meshed with Deep Purple even from the beginning (he’s become as readily identified with them as was Ritchie Blackmore during the group’s first few decades), here he is with them at the 1996 Montreux Festival performing “When A Blind Man Cries”.  To my mind, this specific performance is one of the iconic Deep Purple tracks.  Morse truly makes his guitar an inseparable part of the song, setting its theme through a long, impromptu introduction and then meshing with the vocalist to create an indelible impression.

You’ll find lots of Steve Morse’s work on a YouTube channel devoted to his music, and through almost every major music outlet.



  1. Well, Morse is much more bluesy than Blackmore. Leaving Blackmore's quirky personality aside, his musical ideas diverged increasingly from the rest of the Gillan-led Purple band members, which leaned towards bluesy, somehow funky hard-rock. Blackmore said "I found the blues too limiting, and classical was too disciplined. I was always stuck in a musical no man's land." He found his niche in the 16-17 century folksy music, which offers much more room for creativity and exploration whitot confinement to certain cannons and rigors. Blackmore's Night have been moderately successful since 1997, and that's longer than his cumulative Deep Purple years…

  2. Sam, you more than likely heard their music before but didn't recognize it. Check out "Smoke on the Water" – one of the best guitar riffs ever.

  3. Saw Blackmore live when he was in Rainbow. Never had a chance to see Morse. Would have loved to see Lon Lord before he died.

  4. I saw Morse a number of times in the early 80's or so with his band The Dixie Dregs (later just The Dregs), and later with his own band, The Steve Morse Band. I remember getting to go to a party after one of their shows, the band was there, but they said after most shows, Morse would go back to his room and practice instead of partying with the rest of the band. He's always been an impressive player, having mastered a variety of styles.

    I never got to see Blackmore live, but there are tons of videos on YouTube with Deep Purple and Rainbow.

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