Local blues guitarist makes Alternate Roots’ ‘Top 40 Modern Blues Artists of 2015’ list

Randi Mattox

Acoustic guitar player/songwriter Cary Morin was recently recognized for his blues-country infusion style of guitar picking. The Alternate Root ranked him among some of the best blues artist in the country on their “Top 40 Modern Blues Artists of 2015” list. Although Morin is receiving national recognition for his music, for the past thirty years his career has been based right here in Fort Collins.


Morin said he got his start in music as a child growing up in Montana.

“Our house was about ten miles outside of town,” said Morin. “We had neighbors around, but there were no kids or anything. I ended up just playing my guitar all of the time.”

Playing the guitar quickly transformed from a means of passing time to a way of making a living.

“I started playing in restaurants and bars,” said Morin. “When I graduated from high school, I moved to the Front Range. I was just playing a lot. I would play four or five days a week. It just kind of progressed from there.”

Morin’s unique blend of sounds is influenced by the music of Bob Dylan and Chet Atkins.

“The style of music is a finger picking style of blues with a little bit of country influence,” said Morin. “It is hard to describe, but it is basically finger style guitar.”

Morin said he used his knowledge of music he learned from piano lessons to become a self-taught guitarist.

“I had about six years of piano lessons when I was a kid, so I had a pretty solid understanding of chord structure,” said Morin. “I wasn’t a very good sight-reader, and I found that if I listened to the piano teachers play I could copy what they did. I was a terrible piano student, but at least I learned how to play by ear.”

Morin has had a long running career in the music industry, including the completion of an international tour and three solo-album releases. Currently, he is pursuing a different way of recording music that lends itself to a more genuine sound.

“We set up microphones in specific positions,” said Morin. “I play an acoustic guitar and sing the songs at the same time and that is the recording. It is all me, and it is all live. We try to make the recordings exactly what I do on stage when I play solo.”


Morin said this is different from mainstream recording practices.

“A lot of time when people make records, they put down tracks and record stuff over it,” said Morin. “My recordings are just guitar and voice. Just the natural sound of acoustic guitars has always been interesting to me.”

Although his career has been highly successful, Morin said making Alternate Roots’ “Top 40 Modern Blues Artists of 2015” list will be beneficial to the promotion of his music.

“Making a list helps us get music out to people who may not be aware of it,” said Morin. “I am always thankful when people recognize our recordings and our efforts.”

Go to carymorin.com to learn more about Morin’s career and to listen to his latest releases. For information regarding upcoming shows, go to facebook.com/Cary-Morin.


Collegian Reporter Randi Mattox can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @randimattox.