After a break of four years, and following his homage to another icon, Blaze Foley, the Austin, Texas maestro takes a deep blues stroll on the dark side of town with "Gurf Morlix Finds the Present Tense." Backed by an A+ team -- Gene Elders on violin, Ray Bonneville on harmonica, Eliza Gilkyson on harmony vocals, Rick Richards on drums and no less than three Hammond B3 players: Ian McLagan, Nick Connolly and Patterson Barrett -- the sound of the album is acoustic country blues with flashes of electric lightning and crazy carnival organ when least expected.
Like his Texas compatriots Ray Wylie Hubbard and Slaid Cleaves, Townes Van Zandt and Foley himself, Morlix is writing songs with a flair for wit and mystery, weathered wisdom and potent emotions. Tracks like "Series of Closin' Doors," "Present Tense," "You Walk Away" and "Lookin' for You" unfold like terse, imagistic films, film noirs one might say, that track a modern-blues experience of danger, deceit and desire.
Blood in the water, sharks are on the move
They keep circling, they got nothing to prove
They catch a scent, and they do what sharks do
And me, I keep looking for you
The stories Morlix tells aren't always easy to hear -- on the title cut he charts a shadowy, apocalyptic course, even as the compass of life spins out of control -- but they're tapped into the essence of these dark and true days and nights. It's the search, the music, played with great heart and soul, and the perseverance to keep making it, no matter what these days might bring, that fills this present tense with meaning.
"Gurf Morlix Finds the Present Tense" will be released on March 5, 2013 on Rootball Records.