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Gurf Morlix

Cut 'N Shoot – 2004 (Blue Corn Music)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Gurf Morlix

Gurf Morlix is perhaps better known as the producer of roots rock greats like Lucinda Williams and Robert Earl Keen than for his own quirky, alt.-country excursions as a recording artist.

On Morlix's third solo album, he eschews the dusty country rock vibe of his previous work for a blazingly authentic and stripped down country perspective. Offering a sound shaped by '50s/'60s/'70s giants like Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson and a voice as dry and cracked as a rainless Texas creekbed, Morlix writes songs every bit as memorable as the legends he emulates. His use of clever wordplay is classic country ("I've got half a mind to tell the whole truth;" "Were you lyin' down when you stood me up?") and his twanging soundtrack makes this seem like an album full of reverent covers instead of a brilliant set of originals. Even more impressive is the fact that, other than some backing vocals and drumming assistance, Morlix played every instrument in his Austin home studio.

Gurf Morlix made an album to seize country music back from the slick pop hucksters who have seemingly forgotten that a stray pedal steel is no suitable replacement for heart and soul.