Local CD Review: D.J. Morrison

Beautiful World (Brightleaf Records)

D.J. Morrison is a lovely, fluid guitarist, and he demonstrates his skill all over his new CD, Beautiful World. From the gentle acoustic picking on "Valentine Song" to the bluesy electric-slide interludes and smooth, stinging leads on "My Own Way"—and with plenty of savvy, understated chops in between—Morrison shows that he has the makings of a genuine local guitar hero. He's a capable singer and pop songwriter (the soulful "Blow Your Kiss" is his shining moment as a writer), too, though he operates too close to the Dave Matthews/Blues Traveler model for comfort. Give him a little room, though, and his instrumental abilities far outweigh his sometimes-questionable influences.