Clint Morgan review…May 17, 2016….

CLINT MORGAN

SCOFFLAW

LOST CAUSE RECORDS  LC130

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE–WACO–WILD ONE–I GOT A GUN–I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN (WITH DIUNNA GREENLEAF)–EASTHAM FARM (WITH DIUNNA GREENLEAF)–D. B. COOPER BLUES–I LOVE ROBBING BANKS–BAD MAN BLUES–THIEF IN THE NIGHT–WANTED MAN–THE FACE IN THE MIRROR–A SACKFUL OF CASH–SEND ME TO THE ‘LECTRIC CHAIR (WITH DIUNNA GREENLEAF)–SOFTLY AND TENDERLY JESUS IS CALLING (WITH MARIA MULDAUR)–I REMEMBERED YOU–I DONE MADE UP MY MIND (WITH MARIA MULDAUR)–THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE–I GOT A GUN (ALTERNATE TAKE)

Clint Morgan is an accomplished pianist/vocalist/composer from Washington state, whose day job is as an attorney.  Undoubtedly, he’s seen his share of lawbreakers, and his latest album, aptly-titled “Scofflaw,” uses music to take a look at what makes these folks turn bad.  The cuts range from blues to folk to gospel, and Clint brings in some stellar players to round out this set.  They include Kenny Vaughn on guitar, Dave Roe on bass, and guest vocals from Diunna Greenleaf and Maria Muldaur.

We divided the set into four parts–the first part deals with the Old West outlaws, the second with the Depression-Era baddies, and the third with those of the modern day.  The fourth division features a couple of gospel tunes, as these desperate men seek salvation before Judgement Day.  The set begins with Clint’s ominous original, “Waco,” and “bein’ baptized in that muddy water.”  Fiddle from Jonathan Yudkins adds fire to the story of a man who puts a “.44 slug in the gut” of his boss, “I Got A Gun.”  Jim Hoke is on the harp on a swingin’ duet with Diunna Greenleaf, “I Don’t Know Where To Turn,” and all return on the next cut, a mournful ode to “five long years on Eastham Farm.”

One can easily picture John Dillinger driving down the road from job to job singing the Berry-fied punch of “I Love Robbing Banks!”  Clint gives a classic, droning read of Dylan’s “Wanted Man,” with stripped-down, echo-effect vocals and hand claps.  The set closes with a gospel intonation, featuring a sweet duet of redemption with Maria Muldaur on “Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling.”

We had two favorites, too.  Diunna plays the lover who gets her throat cut, as both she and Clint plea for the judge to “Send Me To The “Lectric Chair.”  Hoke’s clarinet gives this morbidly-humorous Bessie Smith chestnut a ragtime feel.  And, Clint reworks the Blue Yodeler’s “California Blues” as the story of the hijacking parachutist who’s never been found, “D. B. Cooper Blues.”

Clint Morgan, thru the material contained in “Scofflaw,” looks at the psyche’ of the American criminal and makes a strong musical case for why they do what they do.  Excellent musicianship makes this one blues history lesson we know you’ll enjoy!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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