A powerful story-teller and lyrical craftsman, MESA singer/ songwriter David Morgan captured the red-blooded beauty of Western Australia’s Pilbara region in the band’s 2007 release Nor West Friends. Morgan’s intimate and affecting narration took audiences on a drivers-seat journey across the fierce yet fragile land, millions of years in the making.
Together with fellow singer/ songwriter Steve Spouse the pair unwittingly penned the timeless and enduring soundtrack to one of the country’s most remarkable regions. In the song Karijini Morgan painted a stunning vocal canvas of the Pindan paradise located deep in the heart of the Pilbara. Raw, rugged and remote.
The most popular song from Nor West Friends, ‘Fly In, Fly Out’, made it into ABC Radio’s Macca’s Top 100 Tracks – an iconic compilation of audience picks from Australia All Over’s two million-plus listeners.
Spouse’s strong vocals on Kanaji Binbaku saw the song nominated as a 2007 WAMI Regional Song of the Year finalist – and it led to a special, commissioned song Warlu Way. Written for an Australia’s North West tourism international marketing campaign, the Warlu Way CD also featured a swag of MESA’s best-loved songs Karijini, Timeless Land and Pilbara Moon.
In 2008 Morgan went to work in Vietnam and it was not long before he began to experience the same feeling for the culture and environment in Vietnam that he had for the Pilbara. He was inspired to write songs about Vietnam that promoted Vietnam as a tourism destination to the western world.
Hello Vietnam: Volume 1 was recorded in early 2013 at Rocket Studios, Sydney and Soul Entertainment Studio, Saigon where a few traditional Vietnamese instruments were added to the Sydney recordings compelling a fusion of east meets west.
In September 2013 Morgan and Spouse successfully launched Hello Vietnam: Volume 1 at the Sienna Café in Saigon, Vietnam and three of the songs have since been added to Radio FM Saigon’s cultural show play list.
Perhaps the biggest accolade to Morgan was when much respected Vietnam journalist and song writer Ha Quang Minh said after listening to the songs in a Saigon coffee shop, “David you write the words to your songs just like you are Vietnamese. You know my country well”
The ‘Hello Vietnam CD Project’ has certainly taken Mesa in a new direction, and the concept is very unique and will remain a work in progress over the next few years. It has also added a new dimension to the Mesa live performance and the stories of the Vietnam songs interwoven with the stories of the Pilbara songs now provides for a very entertaining experience.
In early 2014 Morgan and Spouse returned to play a few shows in Saigon and Vung Tau, and in the April MESA released ‘Forever We Will Run’ a song that tells the story of how Aussie rules football was played in Vietnam during the war years. Morgan launched the song at the popular ‘Spotted Cow’ pub in Saigon and then attended the ‘Vietnam Swans’ Anzac weekend in Vung Tau where he performed the song at the Imperial Hotel after the traditional ANZAC footy match had been played. Since then the song has become very popular with the Vietnam Vets in Australia.
Following ‘Forever We Will Run’ visits to the Pilbara rekindled Morgan’s love of the region and with Spouse they started writing a new bunch of new Pilbara inspired songs. Those new songs plus an interesting rendition of the old Church song ‘Under The Milky Way’ feature on the new MESA album called ‘Long Road’ scheduled for release in October 2016.
MESA are now finalising dates around Western Australia and will soon be back on the road to promote the new album.
For more information please see the Mesa Story