Sam Morrow brings the critically acclaimed album Concrete and Mud' to the UK for his first full-band tour this side of the Atlantic...dates include a showcase at the 2019 UK Americana Music Association Festival.
Sam Morrow’s Swaggering Concrete And Mud Should Cement His Place Among L.A. Country Elite. Out now on Forty Below Records
Concrete and Mud is a confident career-defining album, rooted in Texas twang, southern stomp, and old-school funky-tonk. Recorded largely live in the studio on a vintage Neve 8068 console with producer/engineer Eric Corne at the helm, it also shines a light on Morrow's strength as a songwriter, front-man, and bandleader. At 27 years old, the L.A.-based, Houston, TX native found his footing as an artist and appears poised to join the ranks of West Coast heavyweights like Sam Outlaw, Jade Jackson, and Morrow's friend and label mate, Jaime Wyatt, whose vocals can be heard on three songs here.
Musically, this is Sam Morrow at his electrified, energetic peak.
The sad-eyed sounds of Ephemeral and its 2015 follow-up, There Is No Map — both written during the early years of Morrow's sobriety — have been replaced by something more representative of Morrow's live show, in which he fronts a band of plugged-in roots-rockers. Accordingly, Concrete and Mud doubles down on a blend of countrified funk and guitar-fueled southern rock, shot through with train beats, Telecaster twang, bluesy slide guitar, swirling organ, with Morrow's big, booming voice front and center. There's balance, too. For every swaggering country rocker like "Heartbreak Man" or "Good Ole Days," there's a gorgeous, emotional punch to the gut like "San Fernando Sunshine" or "The Weight of A Stone."
"Paid by the Mile" is full of 70s-worthy stomp and Southern swagger. "Quick Fix" is an infectious hook laden stew of syncopated beats with bubbling clavinet, slinky guitars and doubled vocals. Morrow croons one minute and growls the next with a sly nod to his influences while staking out new territory. From Lynyrd Skynyrd-friendly rockers like "Heartbreak Man" to the Little Feat-worthy grooves of "Cigarettes," Concrete and Mud boldly explores a wide range of styles and sounds.
There's also an undercurrent of classic country running throughout the mix. On "Skinny Elvis," Morrow sings with his longtime friend and frequent tour mate Jamie Wyatt, resulting in a throwback duet worthy of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris' "Ooh Las Vegas." [Jay Dee Maness, who performed alongside Parsons during the recording sessions for the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, plays pedal steel on the track.] Elsewhere, Morrow evokes Billy Joe Shaver's "Georgia on a Fast Train" with the sly yet cutting "Good Ole Days", proving you can take the man out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the man.
Concrete and Mud “is about the fabric of America, and how the Mississippi is a metaphor for what binds very different people together," says Morrow, whose album builds a similar bridge between opposing camps: country and rock & roll; the West Coast and the American South, concrete and mud. "The sentiment is," he adds, "the things that unite us are stronger than the forces that divide us.” He’ll be on tour sharing these songs well into 2019, starting with his first band European Tour Jan 21- Feb 4, which will include a showcase at AmericanaUK Fest 2019 on Jan 30th...
“…Concrete And Mud’s vibe is less sunshine and palm trees and more in line with the hard surfaces and grit of it’s album title. …Morrow pairs his brawny voice and tales of life at the margins with brittle funk grooves and greasy slide guitar licks." -Rolling Stone (10 New Albums to Stream Now) “…Concrete And Mud, displays the confidence, mastery, and winsomeness of an artist who knows exactly who he is, what he wants to say, and what he is doing. The set marks the moment Morrow rightfully claims his place among the very best that country and Americana have to offer." -The Bluegrass Situation “Sam Morrow has crafted a deep and heavy album that indicates his maturing songwriting, performing, and attention to themes apparent in American society and his own life." - Popmatters “The layers present on songs like “Quick Fix”, “Paid By The Mile” and “Skinny Elvis” produce some of the most unique sounds so beautifully melding into each other as easily as an ice cube melts in a glass of whisky. As experimental as Sturgill, rockin’ as Skynyrd, with a side of Earth, Wind and Fire to lay the groove, Sam Morrow’s Concrete And Mud will have your attention cemented firmly to his unique LA Country sounds." - Raised Rowdy