Episode 181: Sam Morrow
Air date: 5.3.2017
Sam Morrow’s take on Americana mines the rich depths of the lineage of Southern Rock and renegade Country with his meaty voice front and center. Morrow’s delivery is powerful and gritty - the kind of voice that could sing the phonebook and make it sound like an anthem. Stylistically, there are shades of Cash, Waylon and Merle on both his albums to date, and Morrow’s early struggles with substance abuse have given him a hard-won perspective on the demons that haunt frail and fallible human souls that he shares with his idols. But along with shades of the Mount Rushmore faces of roots rock, Morrow also includes influences and colors that show his age; he’s still young and he grew up in a mashup world without record store bins to keep artists in a stylistic boxes. He’s not afraid to throw a Radiohead cover up on YouTube. Morrow’s vocal command reflects hints of a sort of backwoods Jeff Buckley, and his instrumentation and arrangements have a groove that is definitely more Memphis than Nashville or Austin. There is a bit of bounce and boogie in the drums - and pulsing, groovy Hammond B3 lines provide a counterpoint to Morrow’s passionate ruminations. The masters of the trade approach their songs with a fearlessness to tell the stark truth about whatever story they’re telling, and Morrow shares this honest, no-BS approach. Many ears are no doubt eagerly awaiting his forthcoming new album.