Gurf Morlix and Peter Case
Visiting planet Gurf has always been an enlightening experience. After all, this Gurf Morlix fellow Buffalo born, Texas bred has provided us with countless indelible musical moments in the last 40-plus years: his exemplary guitar and production work with Lucinda Williams; his instrumental accompaniment to artists ranging from Blaze Foley to Warren Zevon; his production of watermark albums for artists such as Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and Mary Gauthier and, since 2000, a series of eight solo records that have a singular worldview and can be both harrowing and heartening, often at the same time.
Now, prepare yourself for The Soul And The Heal. Gurf Morlixs ninth album is another chapter in a songbook that pithily relates the human condition. But though Morlixs signatures are still present on this masterstroke lyrics that dont waste a syllable, instrumentation without a spare note there is also a hopefulness and vulnerability not always readily evident on his recent releases. The fact that The Soul And The Heal is pivotal for Gurf is immediately clear from the striking front cover image of a heart-shaped cherry with its pit exposed, and from the stark title that he says speaks to the healing of the soul from all the damage we inflict on ourselves.
It would be too easy to attribute Gurfs evolution to the fact that in February 2016 he suffered a heart attack while dead stopped in the fast lane, in a traffic jam, on his way to a gig. In fact these new songs were all written before this episode, from which he has fully recovered. But theres no doubt the emotions stirred by the unexpected December 2014 passing of Gurfs musical mate, rock keyboard legend Ian McLagan, contributed to the career pinnacle that The Soul And The Heal is for Morlix.
The album was recorded at his Rootball home studio. Morlix comes by his musical minimalism naturally: Its the way my brain is wired. I like to hear everything clearly. Its a solitary sound, different from the sonics he brought to his outside productions but, as always, its anchored by Morlixs sinewy, expressive guitar. The other constant is drummer Rick Richards who shares Morlixs straightforward aesthetic (and whose rhythms Gurf echoes with two foot drums during his almost 100 solo gigs a year).
This batch of songs yields the expected Morlix darkness and humor, but woven between are numbers imbued with a warm light. The call to positive action on Move Someone, the mindfulness of Right Now and the sensitive finale The Best We Can balance this focused collection, an album that manages to run the gamut of emotions without being cloying or obvious.
With The Soul And The Heal Morlix continues to create his own singular musical universe, but the yin and yang of his outlook has never been as in sync as it is now, making it even more inviting to join him on Planet Gurf.
Peter Case has always been a pioneer. Genre-tripping through punk with The Nerves (Hanging On The Telephone), new wave/power pop with The Plimsouls (A Million Miles Away) and Americana with his Grammy®-nominated, self-titled solo debut. It is a career that is still going strong over 40 years later on the strength of his exceptional songwriting.
On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene is a snapshot from nearly twenty years ago when Case sat still long enough for the airwaves to catch up to him. This new album captures material from two live performances on the highly influential KPFK (Los Angeles) syndicated radio program in 1998 and 2000. The first half features material from his then, newly released Full Service, No Waitingan album New York magazine called stunning. The latter half contains material from 2000s Flying Saucer Blues, as well as songs from his earlier releases. Plus, some choice covers appear as well. Both intimate acoustic sets have remained unheard since their original broadcasts.
While he continues to receive accolades for his recorded work (including 2015s HWY 62), there is a very good reason he continues to pack venues when he plays live. On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene gives the listener a chance to experience his incredible gift of songwriting and performance.
Trinity House Theatre (View)
38840 West Six Mile
Livonia, MI 48152
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|