Memphis ghosts, photos, and This is a Photograph: Kevin Morby on ending his tour with a Vancouver double-header

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      Kevin Morby has some pretty big plans for after he wraps up his most recent tour. 

      Top of the list? To “go home and sleep,” he says in an email interview with the Straight ahead of his double-header at Vancouver’s Hollywood Theatre this weekend. 

      And we don’t blame him. The singer-songwriter is coming off of a seven-week tour that saw him travel all across North America on the heels of his most recent album, This is a Photograph. Vancouver marks the final stop, and the only back-to-back shows of the whole tour. 

      They also happened to have been some of the first to sell out—a fact not lost on Morby.  

      Once he’s gotten a good night’s rest or three it’s another photography-related show for the artist, though in this one he’s picking up the camera rather than the guitar. 

      Morby has plans to run a photoshow back in Memphis, Tennessee to showcase the photographs he took while on tour, which, in his words, “will be a great way to tie a bow on this busy year supporting this record.” 

      Photographs have played an important role in Morby’s life of late, as he noted that the title for his most recent album was inspired by one he’d found of his father in his early 30s.

      “I came across the photo only hours after my dad suffered a heart-related collapse at a family dinner. In the photo my father is young and confident and sort of taunting the camera while standing outside with his shirt off,” he reveals. 

      Shortly after the collapse and shortly before finding the photograph, paramedics had had to take off his father’s shirt to check his vitals before putting him into the ambulance. The juxtaposition was not lost on Morby. 

      “It seemed incredibly serendipitous to me—finding this photograph of my father young and shirtless after witnessing his collapse, and this experience went on to inspire the album title.”

      Morby says that other inspiration for the album was drawn from Memphis, Tennessee, where he’d spent much of quarantine writing out of the Peabody Hotel. He “became fascinated with all of the ghosts floating around Memphis. Most notably the life stories of Jeff Buckley, Chirs Bell, Elvis, Otis Redding, MLK, Robert Johnson...the list goes on.” 


      Kevin Morby plays the Hollywood Theatre on Saturday and Sunday (November 12 and 13).