Maren Morris’ Tiny Desk (Home) Concert Highlights Her ‘Humble Quest’

Maren Morris’ Tiny Desk (Home) Concert Highlights Her ‘Humble Quest’

Maren Morris highlighted songs from her current album, Humble Quest, during her recent NPR Tiny Desk performance. Though the set marks her second Tiny Desk appearance, it is her first as part of the new series, NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts.

Morris’ stripped down, four-song set was performed from Nashville, at the city’s SoHo House. The performance showcases not only her soulful, nuanced voice, but also Morris’ tight musicianship with her band. She was joined by a group of six musicians, including drummer Christian Paschall, guitarist/vocalist Bennett Lewis, bassist/vocalist Annie Clements, guitarist/vocalist Eric Montgomery, organist/vocalist Matt Butler and guitarist/vocalist Rachel Beauregard.

Together, they performed a set that leaned heavily on music from her Greg Kurstin-produced project Humble Quest, including the clear-eyed career retrospective “Circles Around This Town,” as well as two odes to lasting love with “I Can’t Love You Anymore” and “Background Music.”

Humble Quest comes three years after the release of Girl, which included her massive crossover hit “The Bones” (which she also included in her NPR Tiny Desk concert set). In addition to proving herself as one of music’s most versatile artists, Morris has also become an outspoken advocate for gender and racial equality, diversity and inclusion within country music.

During her 2020 CMA Awards acceptance speech for winning female vocalist of the year, Morris used her time in the spotlight to praise Black female country artists, including Linda Martell, Yola, Mickey Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Brittney Spencer and Rhiannon Giddens.

“There are so many amazing Black women that pioneered and continue to pioneer this genre, and I know they’re going to come after me, they’ve come before me, but you’ve made this genre so, so beautiful,” she said during her speech. “I hope you know that we see you. Thank you for making me so inspired as a singer in this genre.”

Last year, during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Morris spoke about her desire, “I’m a white woman in country music. I already sort of have this sort of leg up. Even though there’s this huge disparity between men and women in our genre, there is even more of a disparity between white women and Black women trying to be in country music. And there’s so many Black women and men who adore country music and don’t feel like the door is open for them even a crack. So I’ve just been doing so much of my own homework the last couple of years, especially since George Floyd. I just feel like country music as a genre, we all have so much room to grow, myself included, but I think country music is stepping up to the plate, slowly but surely.”

Morris attended the Grammy Awards Sunday (April 3) in Las Vegas alongside her husband and fellow singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd. Both were nominated for best country duo/group performance for “Chasing After You.” Morris was also nominated alongside her co-writers Jessie Jo Dillon, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz in the best country song category, for “Better Than We Found It.” She did not win either award.

Maren Morris’ Tiny Desk (Home) Concert Highlights Her ‘Humble Quest’ Maren Morris highlighted songs from her current album, Humble Quest, during her recent NPR Tiny Desk performance. Though the set marks her second Tiny Desk appearance, it is her first as part of the new series, NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts. Morris’ stripped down, four-song…