Lillian Axe have announced the departure of bassist Eric Morris, who's bowed out "with a heavy heart."

He insists the relationship with his former colleagues remains as strong as ever, as they begin work with his replacement, Chris Brown, who'll make his debut appearance in New Orleans this weekend.

Morris says: "I had such a great time and will always cherish the experiences, from touring with Alice Cooper to actually getting on that plane to Europe and everything in between.

"This was a very difficult decision for me. I've recently had some life-changing events that have made me rethink some of my personal priorities. I have to get my own house in order, and I felt it wouldn't be fair to limit the growth of Lillian Axe due to my restricted availability."

Guitarist Steve Blaze says: "Eric is my brother first and a bandmate second. He's been with me for many years and is one of the sweetest souls I have ever met. His journey in life is taking a different turn.

"He will still be involved behind the scenes with the organisation, and I'm sure he will have a lot of input as we move forward. Eric will be present at the Tippitina's show Saturday night and will play a few songs with us, as we welcome Chris Brown to the family. Chris has been a longtime fan and is an amazing talent in his own right."

Morris first appeared on the Louisiana band's 2007 album Waters Rising and was involved in three further studio albums and an acoustic record.