Doug Morter started his professional music career in 1968, with the formation of his first band, Hunter Muskett, after signing to Decca records, and later Bradleys Records. It was around this time that Doug first crossed paths with Chris Simpson, of Magna Carta.
“We were playing in similar venues back then, but Magna’s quickly reached a bigger audience through their hit records. Muskett split up in ’74, but I was lucky enough to be picked up by Richard Digance, an old mate, and we built a solid reputation on the concert circuit, supporting such bands as Jethro Tull, Joan Armatrading, Elkie Brooks, Steeleye Span, etc. and through that connection, Rick Kemp, Steeleye’s bass man, produced an earlier record of Richard’s that I played on.”
“I became involved with projects by Rick, Maddy Prior (Steeleye front lady), Michael Chapman, Ashley Hutchings (founder member of Steeleye, Fairport Convention, The Albion Band) and so in ’78, I left Richard to tour with Maddy, and then joined The Albion Band for a tour, and then a season at the National Theatre in London. It was at this time, that I got a call from Chris Simpson, who was about to record “No truth In The Rumour” in London, he was needing an electric player, and we had a fun time making that record! Also on that record were Tom McConville, a great fiddle player, and Lee Abbott, and we became firm friends, sadly to lose Lee some years back, a great bass man, and lovely person. I was asked to join Magnas then, but due to tour commitments with projects mentioned, I was unable to.”
“It came about in 1980, when Lee called me and asked if I’d step in to play on the “Midnight Blue” record in Manchester, and for the next three+ years we toured and recorded all over the planet, and it was a blast! Again, sadly, quite recently, to lose one of the Magna characters from that period, George Norris. However, due to my growing young family, and a request from Ashley Hutchings I decided to re-join The Albion Band, to stay mostly in the UK.”
“It was then, around 1985, that I teamed up with guitar legend Jerry Donahue, who I met on the Joan Armatrading tour some years earlier, he happened to be in the UK to play with Fairport’s at their Cropredy festival. I was recording in London, a project that included Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks from Fairport, so we invited Jerry to play guitar, and there started a partnership that lasted from 1985-2016, until Jerry’s ill health stopped him from touring.”
“Over those years our projects have included The Backroom Boys, which featured players from 10CC, Jethro Tull, John Martyn, Steeleye Span. Also The Nerve, a tribute to Jerry’s earlier band, Fotheringay, and The Gathering, which included players from Jethro Tull, Lindisfarne, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Procol Harem etc., and Then Came The Wheel, my project with Alan Thomson, (who also has featured on the Magna record “Fields of Eden”), which includes players from Van Morrison, John Martyn, Fish, Clannad, Waterboys, Martin Barre band, etc. I have recorded with all of these projects and somehow managed to get in on a couple of Magna records in between!”
“There have been many memorable concerts, one of the most memorable was the 40 year anniversary concert with Magna’s at The Carré Theatre in Amsterdam, a fitting tribute to a great career, and a lasting tribute to the memory of Lee and George.”
“Lately, since 2010, we reformed Hunter Muskett, and have made two cd’s up to now, and continue to tour as age and health permits! There have been so many projects in between, too many to mention, I have worked in many variations of my blues band, The Frendz, with musicians from Denmark (my adopted home), Finland, Norway, Sweden, USA, UK. The Backroom Boys, with countless great players, my trio stuff with Jerry, that has included Elliott Randall of Steely Dan fame, Ray Jackson from Lindisfarne, my duo stuff with Alan Thomson, still going strong, and have produced many records with artists from all of these places, too many to list here, but it’s all been a blast, and I’m looking forward to the next adventure with Magna’s in Holland.”
Doug Morter, May 2022.