Meet the Morrow Family Band

The Morrow Family Band

By Cassidy Strauss

As a young girl, Melinda Morrow would do homework at the Milltop in St. Augustine while listening to her father play music in a band with his brother and sister. She grew up in a musical family, but no one encouraged her to pursue music. They wanted her to go to college and become a lawyer but Melinda went to college on a full scholarship to study music. After a year, she met the love of her life, Jim Morrow, and dropped out to get married and start a family.

Jim, a dedicated musician who had been in numerous bands throughout his lifetime, shared Melinda’s love for music. Together they started a band, owned a recording studio and a music store, and had a daughter named Dawn. Naturally, Dawn inherited her parents’ passion for music and chose to pursue dance. When Dawn grew up and decided that she wanted to move from the South to L.A. to get her bachelor’s degree in dance and explore a possible acting career, the close-knit family sold their businesses and packed up.

While Dawn was getting her degree, Jim and Melinda experienced what they described as a “stagnant” music life. However, Dawn was beginning to discover her newfound love for the creation of music by learning how to play the ukulele and writing songs. They spent 10 years out West. Their strong southern roots pulled them back East. Today, St. Augustine is home to the timeless family band that represents three generations of music. Their set list ranges from 60s music to today’s hits.

“I’ve worked with many bands over the years and people just leave because there’s nothing bonding them together. Whereas with us, we can have our little music spats but we’re still family so that keeps us together,” said Jim Morrow. Jim started playing bass in a band from the time he was thirteen years old. He has had the opportunity to adapt with changing music genres and funky band outfits. On stage, The Morrow Family Band catches attention of the audience in vintage outfits, which Dawn says captures their ageless sound.

When the family decided to start a band, Jim had to teach himself how to play lead guitar. “He really holds us together because we aren’t as accomplished on our instruments as he is,” said Melinda. “He practices everyday.” Although Jim is retired, Melinda works full-time and Dawn works numerous jobs. “Music is the fun thing I do,” said Dawn. “And it’s like forced family time.”

The three-piece acoustic Morrow Family Band has over 200 covers that they perform around town and even though the variety is clear, each song, whether its Lana Del Rey or The Beatles, ends up having a southern feel.

The Morrow family says that it is surreal that they are playing at venues around town that they grew up watching their family’s other trio play at for years. “It’s funny when you look back at all of the little steps and it’s led us right back to here playing together,” said Dawn.  

See The Morrow Family Band live at Colonial Oak Music Park, Nov. 21, 9pm

dave kosciolek