Sam Morrow “Concrete and Mud” (Forty Below Records, 2018)

A full-fat slab of seventies-era, funky bar room country stomp, gutsy balladry and Southern Rock from Californian Sam Morrow. This is an excellent record – music like the Black Crowes should have made, had they cast their eyes a little wider. Opener ‘Heartbreak Man’ is a steady syrup – fuzz/twang meets Hammond organ groove. Morrow shows us up front the roaming, untameable guy that he is.

‘San Fernando Sunshine’ is a slow, twangy ballad –the heat in the valley makes Morrow yearn for relief at the cool coast. Feature track ‘Skinny Elvis’ rattles along in fine style, as Morrow with guest vocalist Jaime Wyatt both represent their chosen Presley period. It’s quite possible a Skinny Elvis is also a coffee option in some hipster barista establishment .. ‘Good Old Days’ hurtles along at a furious pace too; Morrow dismantling the views of those longing for days gone by (the days of racial segregation, homophobia, poverty? Really?). ‘Quick Fix’ is another funky Southern Rock hipswaying  groove. There’s some quieter interludes that help to punctuate the collection. ‘Mississippi River’ is one such, a fine country ballad – the praise for the Ole Muddy is no surprise, but the song is strong enough to transcend the limitations of the well-worn subject matter.

9/10

Summary

Bold and gutsy, retro country meets Southern Rock. Excellent!

Author: Mark Nenadic

Quite likes music. Doesn't really like people. From The North. Exiled in The Midlands due to radical views on whippets/flat caps. Beards and plaid shirts belong on Willie Nelson. Everybody else should smarten up a bit ..

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