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Gurf Morlix w/ Ed Snodderly – [folk / singer-songwriter / americana]
May 13, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
WHEN: Saturday May 13, 2017
DOORS: 7pm | SHOW: 8pm
GENRE: folk / singer-songwriter / americana
AGES: all ages
SEATING: seated general admission
TICKETS: $15 adv. / $18 d.o.s. / $25 VIP (guaranteed seating in 1st three rows!)
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 a number of classic Americana albums you likely own if you are any kind of Americana music fan, including watermark albums for artists such as Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and Mary Gauthier, his induction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, receiving the Americana Music Association’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” – 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 Morlix’s ninth album is another chapter in a songbook that pithily relates the human condition. But though Morlix’s signatures are still present on this masterstroke – lyrics that don’t 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 Gurf’s 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 there’s no doubt the emotions stirred by the unexpected December 2014 passing of Gurf’s 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: “It’s the way my brain is wired. I like to hear everything clearly.” It’s a solitary sound, different from the sonics he brought to his outside productions – but, as always, it’s anchored by Morlix’s sinewy, expressive guitar. The other constant is drummer Rick Richards – who shares Morlix’s 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.
“Ed is carving himself a niche for his own genre of Appalachian music and prose.”
– Jerry Douglas
The Tennessee native looks a bit like Doc from Back to the Future with shorter hair and Buddy Holly glasses. His voice is the sonic equivalent of an old denim shirt, creased and worn and reassuring. While “folk” doesn’t quite capture Snodderly’s essence—he is more singer-songwriter steeped in country and bluegrass—he is nevertheless finely tuned to the eccentricities of traditional music. His writing style is unique. The songs are original, yet familiar. His guitar playing holds those ancestral rhythms. He makes primitive banjo and drums sound like the most obvious combination in the world. Whatever you want to call him—Alt-Country Singer? Old-Time Musician? Folkie?—Ed Snodderly is proof that Southern music, with all its old peculiarities, is alive and kicking.Several of his songs have been recorded by musicians such as: Sam Bush, Missy Raines, Jerry Douglas and John Cowan. The Country Music Hall Of Fame Museum honored him by inscribing a verse of his song, “The Diamond Stream”, upon the wall in the Hall Of Honor.
“…like the songs were spiked with moonshine”.
– Tony Sheridan, PEOPLE MAGAZINE
“…his songs are evocative and original”
– Allana Nash