30 July 1964 |
|Labels||Harbourtown Records, Fellside Records|
Morton was born in Leicester, England, on 30 July 1964 and was educated at Countesthorpe Community College where he spent most of his time in the music block learning guitar and playing new wave and punk songs. He was lead singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist in his two school bands: The Mafia, and Tone Deaf. He left school at 16 in 1980. It was during this summer that he discovered folk music, when hearing a friend's father playing a Buffy Sainte-Marie record. This had a profound effect which led him to buy an acoustic guitar and learn songs from early 60s protest singers. He started busking and visiting folk clubs, travelling around the UK and Europe. He began learning traditional songs as well as writing his own songs mainly of social commentary.
Morton signed to Harbourtown Records in 1987, a label started by Gordon Jones and Bob Thomas of Scottish Folk Band, Silly Wizard. His first album, Frivolous Love was met with high critical acclaim, of which The Guardian called him "a revelation" and was voted the most promising newcomer by FRoots magazine the year after. His second album, One Big Joke (1988), was also positively received and he was referred to in a review by FRoots, as one of the best the British roots scene has produced in living memory. The first album he released on CD was Mad World Blues (1991). Throughout the early nineties Pete toured extensively with Roger Wilson (fiddle, vocals and Guitar) and Simon Edwards (Button Accordion and vocals) throughout Europe producing a powerful and unique rocky-folk sound and recorded a double CD of this collaboration on Harbourtown Records: Self Destructive Fools. Courage, love and Grace (1994) brought his songwriting back to public attention. He followed this with a collection of traditional songs on the CD, Trespass (1998). Since this time, he has constantly toured throughout North America and Europe, as well as producing a CD with friend Jo Freya, plus three more CDs of his own songs: Hunting the Heart (2000), Swarthmoor (2003), and Flying an Unknown Flag (2005). In 2007, he left Harbourtown Records to re-work his most requested songs with the album Napoleon Jukebox (2007), followed a year later with Casa Abierta (2008). This was a collection of songs in ten different languages, of which he had a teacher for each song, and the album was partly in aid of the Gambian schools trust. It was produced with Simon Squire in Crewkerne, Somerset, England. Economy (2011) was a CD of original songs, produced by Dawson Smith.