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The Morells

The Morells – 2001 (Slewfoot)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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It's taken nearly two decades for The Morells to put out a follow up to their highly acclaimed 1982 self-released classic "Shake and Push" but the members of this legendary regional roots-rock band from Springfield, Mo. have been keeping busy.Guitarist D. Clinton Thompson, keyboardist Joe Terry and bassist Lou Whitney (who has also recorded such artists as Robbie Fulks, Wilco and Bottle Rockets in his studio) toured and recorded together through much of the '90's as the more pop oriented the Skeletons, while Ron Gremp has been playing drums for the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. More recently Whitney and Thompson had been working with singer/drummer Kristy McInnis in combo.com.

This self-titled effort showcases the skills of guitarist Thompson. In "Home In My Hand" Thompson drives the tune with a James Burton style riff, and he closes the album with a cover of Roy Buchanan's instrumental "Roy's Blues." There are a couple of originals here - Terry's "Mom's Got a Headache" and Whitney's twangy "Don't Let Your Baby Buy a Car," but most songs are obscure covers from such writers as Ben Vaughn ("Seven Days Without Love," "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme"), Springfield's Ronnie Self ("Hair Of the Dog," "Home In My Hand") and Lieber and Stoller ("I'm a Hog For You Baby").

Though this Morells' album came about as an accident when McInnis abandoned a combo.com recording project, fans of the Morells will be left hoping that another 20 years will not pass before their next record.