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 CD Review
Gurf Morlix
"Fishin' in the Muddy"
by Bob Silvestri

   Gurf Morlix has a new CD on Catamount Records titled “Fishin’ In The Muddy”. It’s great, go buy it. That would be the easy way out to review it. But Morlix is more than that. He has the extraordinary ability to elevate any project he becomes involved in. I could name twenty or more CD’s I’ve purchased for the single fact that he played or produced a portion of them. He is unsurpassed in his keen sense to add just the right guitar part and in the right place. His unique style of playing is instantly recognizable the moment you hear it. Few guitarists have that ability.
     This Hamburg native and close friend of another extraordinary local musician Jim Whitford, can be credited with much of the success of Lucinda Williams having played on many of her critically acclaimed albums. He performed one of the most memorable shows I’ve every seen in Buffalo when Williams opened for Blue Rodeo at the Tralf in 1992. His playing that night was simply amazing. But we seem to be getting off on a tangent here; I think you get the picture. Now back to the review.
      Morlix recorded, mixed, and mastered the whole thing at his own Rootball Studios in Austin, TX. In addition to those duties he also handles organ, bass, octaphone, banjo and of course guitar. Co-conspirators include Rick Richards on drums and Ian McLagan on Hammond B3 organ. The twelve tracks have a sound reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s legendary 1968 Memphis sessions with Chips Moman, where Elvis used country, rock, blues and gospel with lots of soul to come up with some of his best recordings ever. Morlix uses the same mix of styles to achieve a great sound too. 
     The heart on your sleeve lament “Torn In Two” starts things off. You can almost picture him ruminating in a dark room as a haunting organ dances behind the vocals. “I Ain’t Goin’ That Way” most closely emulates those Moman sessions with it’s drum and bass shuffle and Chet Atkins style picking from Morlix. “My Lesson” a slow banjo number that moves at almost dirge like speed, deals with regrets and dashed hopes. “Fishin’ In The Muddy” a reverb and tone drenched tune, chugs along on a Morlix guitar riff. “Center Of The Universe” is a biting number about someone’s large ego and impression of themselves. (Lucinda Williams?) If not than “Your Picture” is. Morlix has said it’s about a gold record Williams sent him for his work on her “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road” CD. Their acrimonious split found him uneasy with the award and he subsequently banished it to his tool shed. The incredulous lyrics, ripe with sarcasm, are almost laughable if you didn’t know how he feels about the split. “Big Eye” with it big beat drum and bass thumps along as Morlix details a rendezvous with a “little Mamou”. “How To Be” is a somewhat simple song with an unmistakable organ hook during the refrain. “There Goes The Bone” is a lighthearted tune with an “oom-pa-pa” sound and unconventional lyrics. “Let The Rhythm Rule” closes things with a tight groove and guitar sound as only Morlix can attain. 
    Gurf Morlix has a new CD on Catamount records, its great, go buy it. For more information go to www.catamountco.com

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