UNFORTUNATELY GURF MORLIX HAS HAD TO CANCEL THIS SHOW. HE HAS ASSURED US THAT HE WILL BE RESCHEDULING THE EVENT FOR LATER IN THE YEAR!
Once, when asked by a promoter for a copy of his biography, Gurf Morlix responded with just two words, “Legendary integrity.” He would later admit that his response was perhaps a bit pompous, “but true,” he added. “Well, half true anyway.” The story is a telling one, demonstrating not only Morlix’s directness, which is famous amongst his musical colleagues – or perhaps infamous, depending on who you ask – but also his dry sense of humor and no-bullshit approach to life, music, and the music business.
Had he sent the promoter a more traditional bio, it likely would have noted that Gurf was born outside Lackawanna, New York (near Buffalo), saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, formed a band (in which Peter Case made his stage debut), moved to Los Angeles, worked for more than a decade as Lucinda Williams’ guitarist, band-leader and backing vocalist, produced Lucinda’s acclaimed Sweet Old World and eponymous albums, famously left Lucinda, toured with Warren Zevon, moved to Austin, befriended Blaze Foley, produced a number of classic Americana albums you likely own if you are any kind of Americana music fan, played on many more albums you probably own if you fall into that category, received the Americana Music Association’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” award, went on to make seven critically acclaimed albums of his own, and then toured the world supporting them. He now continues to play live, produce albums for artists that move him, and make his own albums. He even goes fishing ever once in a while.
That’s the resume, but it’s Gurf’s integrity, combined his near innate sense of music and how to make it sound not just good, but great, that have attracted so many well-respected artists to work with him over the years – folks like Ian MacLagan, Patty Griffin, Robert Earl Keen, Buddy Miller, Mary Gauthier, Tom Russell, Butch Hancock, and Jim Lauderdale, just to name a few. And, oh yeah, he can make nearly any instrument with strings sing or growl, depending on the needs of the song, like no other musician out there.
Gurf’s eighth album, 2015’s “Eatin’ At Me,” kicks off with wailing guitars and an annual family car trip to “Dirty Ol’ Buffalo.” Never one to shy away from the gritty side of life, the portrait he paints of the borderline rust belt city of his youth, with its rugged roads and smoky orange air, ain’t pretty, but it’s real, and it continues to haunt his mind. The nine songs that follow are similarly told from the point of view of a man who has examined his life and his world, with all its grit and glory, unflinchingly, and who is not afraid to tell the real stories of what he’s discovered. They tell stories of love and regret, happy memories and heartbreak, but what makes the album unshakable is indeed Gurf’s “legendary integrity” – the memorable characters he introduces, the empathy with which their stories are told, and the care with which the songs are made. No word, no note, is out of place, and like the many well-known and well-loved albums he’s produced and played on, Gurf’s own records are infused with his trademark grit and muddy groove. His signature sound is rounded off by Rick Richards on drums (of course), Ray Bonneville on harmonica, Gene Elders on violin, and Patterson Barrett on the B3, giving the album a quality that is so real, you can feel it in your bones, and like all things that are so real, it’ll haunt you for a while.