HE picked up the guitar at eight, penned his first song about a homeless man at 10 and is now shooting for musical glory.
Meet Morgan Bain, the 18-year-old Scarborough singer-songwriter bound for Tamworth in January after making the Telstra Road to Discovery Final with a winning performance at the Queenscliff Music Festival in Victoria last week.
The Newman College graduate will compete in the “songwriter category”, while close friend, 30-year-old folk artist Karin Page, of North Beach, will contest the “performer” division for a shot at a 12-month music mentorship package including a return trip to Nashville in the US.
Ironically, Page – who is also the front-woman of Perth band Spoonful of Sugar – helped the youngster secure his first professional gig at Subiaco’s Llama Bar when he was only 15.
It’s the latest triumph in a breakthrough year for Bain, highlighted by supporting Cold Chisel and Ash Grunwald, appearing at Parklife and last week’s launch of his self-titled second EP, which was produced by Eskimo Joe’s Joel Quartermain and features 2012 WAM Song of the Year (15-17-year-old category) I Think I’ve Got You.
“The Eskimo Joe guys are the nicest guys you could ever meet… they make you feel so comfortable,” he said.
Bain’s style has evolved from blues and roots to blues/rock, with The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys and Jimi Hendrix among recent influences.
However, the multi-instrumentalist, who plays guitars of the six-string, 12-string, electric and lap-slide variety, as well as blues harp and piano, has also drawn inspiration from his grandmother, an opera singer.
“I wanted to learn how to do those really high falsettos, so I used to copy Nan to get a big opera lady voice,” he laughed.
Bain’s mum also played an integral role as his manager, accompanying her talented son to every gig until he recently turned 18.
“My music’s getting busier, so I’m trying to do it on my own, learn lots from mum and run it like a business.”
- Generation Next is an occasional series profiling Perth’s bright young talents on the cusp of something big.