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SAM MORROW —CONCRETE AND MUD (Forty Below Records)

www.fortybelowrecords.com

LA based act, Houston Texas native, 27 year-old Sam Morrow comes out the chute in determined and, exciting fashion as he lays down one gritty track after another. Powered on by a set of players who are really into his music Morrow revisits country music of the 1970s; Outlaw country that is. Feisty as hints of Waylon Jennings (and one or two other heavyweights of the time) sneak through every now and again. Such the freedom expressed by Morrow’s lyrics, and when given a snappy rhythm and stirring electric guitar primed production he cooks up a potent brew. 

The term a breath of fresh air came to mind the first time I gave Concrete And Mud a spin, the album like his previous albums Ephemeral and There Is No Map was produced by Eric Corne. He has fellow fledgling recording act Jamie Wyatt join him on the pedal steel (Jay Dee Maness) and slick, country lead (chicken picked) lead guitar fuelled “Skinny Elvis”.  While he utilises some ever so sweet fiddle and dobro as he speaks of hearing them call his name on stout and study ballad “Mississippi River” (as he takes the good with the bad in a land of contradiction).   

His performance on “Quick Fix” alone is enough to bend the ear of the listener, and at the same time give heart to seasoned music afficianados to believe there is hope for the future of this music, and in the likes of another well fashioned, and this time quicker (give it a little edge and it is typical Waylon and co of the 1970s as they blasted through honky tonks, travelled the road, and life in general with their foot set firmly against the metal) “Good Ole Days” as he stirs up a rukus.  

Morrow isn’t afraid of laying open his heart as he slows the tempo, and gives time for reflection on smouldering ballad “Weight Of A Stone”; while and with a sound those in the British Isles have heard via Ags Connolly “Coming Home” prises open the heart of one and all. Top class! Another worthy of a mention is restless ballad, “Cigarettes” as he speaks having another monkey on his back as he struggles to gain control of his life. A familiar story, and through his honest deliver the song sticks.

          Maurice Hope

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July 2018
1
American Aquarium
93 pts.
Things Change
New West
BK,TJ,JB
2
Gretchen Peters
56 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
ML,GF
3
Patrick Sweany
51 pts.
Ancient Noise
Nine Mile Records
FC,RK,BM,CVL,TK
4
Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
47 pts.
Downey To Lubbock
Yep Roc
SP,JBO,JJC
5
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
34 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
Independent
 
6
Ry Cooder
33 pts.
The Prodigal Son
Perro Verde Records
DH
7
Jenny van West
32 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
RST,NC
8
Brooks Williams
30 pts.
Lucky Star
Red Guitar Blue Music
 
9
Levi Parham
29 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
 
10
I See Hawks in LA
26 pts.
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WR
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25 pts.
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MB,AL
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Phil Cook
24 pts.
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LK,JD
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Mike Aiken
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Wayward Troubadour
Northwind Records
BP
14
Karen Jonas
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Independent
HVB
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21 pts.
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Neko Case
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HH,TV
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19 pts.
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LM,SZ
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Dieter van der Westen Band
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Hadley McCall Thackston
18 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
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CRS
 
Willie Nelson
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24
Carter Sampson
17 pts.
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17 pts.
SassaFrass!
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