Mr. Gurf Morlix

CUT 'N SHOOT (Blue Corn) • Gurf Morlix

Austin's man behind the curtain steps up to the mic, and shines as always. He uses drummer Rick Richards on all but three tunes, where he plays those as well as everything else on the entire record: bass, drums, guitars, steel, mandolin, banjo, percussion, organ, and mandocello. And it's Country, buddy, right down the line.

There are thirteen wry and crafty songs, long on tongue in cheek humor and personality. Some were written with the likes of legend Billy Swan ("I Can Help") or Nashville hitmakers like Jim Lauderdale and Jeffrey Steele, and a pair each with Re Winkler and Jim Leslie. "Your Sister" was penned with Brende Fuller (Gurf's wife) and Ron Coy, four solely by the artist, and one perky outside tune, "They're Hangin' Me Tonight."

Gurf gets memorable guitar sounds--single notes ring so strongly and sturdily that they hang in the air with authority, much like his friend Buddy Miller in this way. When one considers these in contrast to the soft and celestially glassy tones he creates on the pedal steel, the superb tonemeister that he is becomes clear. Pass the tremolo, please.

He's what I'd call a character singer, and it's a likeable voice well suited to the lyrical timbre and emotional range of the material. He gets behind singing "Were you lying down (when you stood me up)?" just as well as he does the much graver "Ten Years of Love" with equal aplomb. It tugs at your heartstrings to hear him croon "Darlin, I'll change, to win back your love," but that's followed quickly by the very Lauderdalian "Where There is Smoke (there oughta be fire)" to re-establish the generally lighthearted mood.

In the not too distant future, we hope and intend to bring you an interview with this intelligent and fascinating Austin figure in an interview series called The Producers, featuring musicians who are also notorious as studio wizards. But for now, check out the clips on the Listen page, then pick up this record, here. • FG

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an interview with gurf by shuichi iwami

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