This month’s Music in the Hall on Friday 7th June brings some Los Angeles plugged in roots-rockers who play countrified funk and guitar fuelled-southern rock, shot through with train beats, Telecaster twang, bluesy slide guitar and swirling organ.
Front and centre of all this music is the big, booming voice of SAM MORROW. His show brings together swaggering country rockers (Heartbreak Man, Good Ole Days) combined with gorgeous emotional numbers (San Fernando Sunshine, The Weight of a Stone).
His career defining third record “Concrete and Mud” cements his place as a member of the Los Angeles rock elite. Concrete and Mud is a confident album, rooted in Texas twang, southern stomp, and old-school funky-tonk. Recorded largely live in the studio on a vintage Neve 8068 console with producer/engineer Eric Corne at the helm, it also shines a light on Morrow’s strength as a songwriter, front-man, and bandleader.
At 27 years old, Morrow’s found his footing as an artist and appears poised to join the ranks of West Coast heavyweights like Sam Outlaw, Jade Jackson, and Morrow’s friend and label mate, Jaime Wyatt whose vocals can be heard on three songs on the album.
Like his previous albums, Concrete and Mud was produced by songwriting partner Eric Corne, with Morrow playing a more active role in the recording process. The two took an experimental approach. Wurlitzers were run through phaser pedals. Farfisa organs were recorded through revolving Leslie speaker cabinets. Songs like “Cigarettes” were reinforced with throbbing mini-moog synth, while murder ballads like “Weight of a Stone” were laced with looping percussion and timpani flourishes. On “Paid by the Mile,” Morrow and his band-mates kept the tape running during the song’s final moments, stretching their legs during a long, loose jam session before segueing into the ceremonious intro of “San Fernando Sunshine.” The result is the most adventurous album of Morrow’s career, and his third release for Corne’s label, Forty Below Records.
“It’s about the fabric of America, and how the Mississippi is a metaphor for what binds very different people together,” says Morrow, whose album builds a similar bridge between opposing camps: country and rock & roll; the West Coast and the American South, concrete and mud. “The sentiment is,” he adds, “the things that unite us are stronger than the forces that divide us.”
St Georges Hall, Bewdley – Friday 7th June – Doors Open 7.30pm
Tickets at www.thehall-bewdley.org.uk or from Hall Café.