Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Four Acclaimed Artists Come to Club Passim to Pay Tribute to Bill Morrissey

Cliff Eberhardt, Mark Erelli, Cormac McCarthy and Pete Nelson come together to share stories and songs.

Four Acclaimed Artists Come to Club Passim to Pay Tribute to Bill Morrissey

Bill Morrissey (1951-2011) wrote songs that resonate today as deeply and true as they did the day he put pen to paper. Infused with his sharp wit, Morrissey's works were worlds unto themselves, so well-crafted that it was nearly impossible to find the seam between his imagination and the real world.

To mark the 10 year anniversary of his passing, Cliff Eberhardt, Mark Erelli, Cormac McCarthy and Pete Nelson, long-time friends of Morrissey and each other, will share an evening of songs and stories about Bill Morrissey at Club Passim in Cambridge. "The Men From Out of Town" will perform live Friday, July 23. Tickets are on sale now at

Bill Morrissey was a Grammy-nominated folk singer-songwriter who captured life in rural New England and shared it with the world. Over the course of a three-decade career, two of Morrissey's twelve albums received Grammy nominations. A critics' favorite, Morrissey earned high praise from the New York Times and Rolling Stone. He was also an acclaimed author, writing two books Edson and Imaginary Runner.

"The first night I met Bill Morrissey, we headed back to Cliff Eberhardt's house after the show to drink, tell jokes, and play songs well into the early morning hours. We'd laugh and play Chuck Berry and Gershwin numbers, but we also shared our newest songs with each other," said Mark Erelli. "I've had July 23, 2021-the date of the 10th anniversary of Bill Morrissey's passing-on hold at Passim for several years now. I was hoping that we could celebrate Bill's life and legacy by having one of these song circles, where we each take turns telling stories about our time with Bill and playing his songs. Morrissey was a musical hero of mine that I became lucky enough to know, but Cliff Eberhardt, Cormac McCarthy, and Pete Nelson toured with him and played on his records. Every one of these guys has a bunch of Bill stories, and I'm sure we'll hear a few in between songs. We're going to try to highlight his work in all its facets, as he was equally capable of cracking an audience up in hysterics as was evoking heartbreak and despair. We'll also do a round of original songs about our old friend Bill Morrissey, who cast such a long shadow that he is still inspiring us a decade after his passing. The only thing missing from the song circle will be the man himself, but I know he'll be there in spirit."

Cliff Eberhardt headed out on the road at 15, touring the country since the 70s. He has put out 11 studio albums including his latest work, "Knew Things". The album contains 13 original songs he produced at home during the 2020 pandemic. Eberhardt engineered, produced, arranged and played all the instruments himself.

Mark Erelli has forged a colorful career by making the art of "being everywhere all the time" seem effortless. It's hard to think of another artist who seems equally at home serving as a sideman for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, as he does writing and producing his own material, like last year's "By Degrees," on which he was joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow.

Cormac McCarthy was nominated for both Outstanding Folk/Acoustic Act, and Outstanding Folk/ Acoustic Album by the Boston Music Awards. Cormac is regarded by fellow musicians and fans alike as one of New England's finest songwriters. He writes and sings of a heartfelt, sometimes funny, sometimes desperate, sometimes glorious world of common people, struggles, hope, relationships, madness, and love. He sings the poetry of real life with a silky baritone voice and just enough grit.

Pete Nelson has two CDs, The Restless Boys' Club, and Days Like Horses, on the Signature Sounds label. In 2001, he took a brief hiatus from performing (20 years) to raise a son. He is also the author of thirty books, including I Thought You Were Dead, an autobiographical novel about a man and his talking dog. He was once nominated by The Boston Music Awards as best newcomer in the folk category but lost to someone named Patty Griffin.

Tickets for The Men From Out of Town at Club Passim on July 23rd are available at or at the Club Passim box office sixty minutes before the show begins. Club Passim is located in Harvard Square at 47 Palmer St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Related Articles View More Boston Stories

More Hot Stories For You