The path of Joni Morris’ success as a country singer and her rave reviews for her Patsy Cline tributes can all be charted back to her desire to “kill a little time.”
More than 15 years ago Morris was a busy mom shuttling her daughter to piano lessons. Morris could have sat waiting in the lobby with some of the other mothers during those lessons. But a door down the hallway — a door advertising a voice coach — was beckoning to her.
“I decided why not take voice lessons instead of just waiting in the lobby,” Morris said.
The decision to step through that door would ultimately put Morris on an entirely new career trajectory — one that would include national tours, CD releases, sold-out shows and critical acclaim.
Morris has been thrilling audiences and critics alike with her tribute shows to Patsy Cline, Connie Francis and some of the most beloved female performers on the pantheon of country music.
Morris, accompanied by her “After Midnight,” is coming to Turlock to perform her exceptionally popular show, “A Portrait of Patsy.” Sponsored by the Turlock Concert Association, the show will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Turlock Community Theatre.
Also joining Morris and her band will be violinist Giorgi Khokhobashvile and pedal steel guitar hall of famer Bobby Black.
“We’re thrilled to be performing for the Turlock Concert Association and look forward to seeing all our fans and friends,” Morris said.
Country music has played a pivotal role in Morris’ life, even from a young age. Born in Modesto and raised in Stockton, Morris grew up in a home where the songs of Cline, Hank Williams and other country legends were frequently sung by her parents.
“I’ve had the seed of country music in me since I was born,” Morris said.
From the start Morris says she felt a kinship with Cline and her melodious songs.
“She was a favorite of my mom and always stood out for me because her voice and music were so instinctual and pure and her voice was velvety smooth. She really let the emotions of a song come out.”
In 1993, Morris made her first foray as Cline in Columbia Actors Repertory’s production of “Always Patsy Cline.” The performance was met with rave reviews. Since that time Morris has developed her tribute show to reflect the songs and spirit of Cline, without falling into an impression.
“Everyone still enjoys her music and it should be remembered,” Morris said. “I try to present her music as authentically as I can, but still in my own way.”
Morris’ show in Turlock will feature some of Cline’s biggest hits, like “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Sweet Dreams” along with some of Morris’ original songs.
Tickets for the show are $25 for adults and $15 for students. For tickets call Linda Posegate at 668-1456 or Sue Bonander at 668-3627.