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The Morells

Think About It – 2005 (HighTone)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

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CDs by The Morells

The irregularly recorded alter-ego of The Skeletons - The Morells - have finally waxed their third LP (in a 23-year recording history), confirming that their wacky sense of humor, record collector's ears and deft musicianship only improve with age.

The band's cover selections can be as simple to recognize as the rave-up "Let's Dance On" from The Monkees, or as obscure as Joe Turner's "How Come My Dog Don't Bark" and The Delmore's "Girls Don't Worry My Mind." Chuck Berry's "Nadine" is turned to chicken-pickin' with a second-line rhythm, Duane Eddy's "Guitar Man" is slowed to a bluesy brag, and Paul Revere & The Raiders' "Ups and Downs" gains an oddly memorable keyboard line.

The band's handful of originals include Chet Atkins styled picking and a "Gentle on My Mind" riff for "She's Gone" and the proverbial tackle box of instrumental hooks loaded into "Popbelly." Fans of The Young Fresh Fellows and Ben Vaughn will find the same fine combination of talent and jokiness here, but with a rootsier, mid-west foundation.