It's folk music like blues was the folk music of postwar Chicago.
By Dave Palmeter
WUMB 91.9 FM Radio
Folk Music has gotten a bad reputation. Much of it is boring. So whether you think of it as overly artful recreations of medieval ballads or the overly thoughtful pondering of a poet, this ain't that kind of folk music. It has more to do with songs from the jukebox that made you rock. It's folk music like jazz was the folk music of Storyville. It's folk music like blues was the folk music of postwar Chicago. It's folk music like rap is the folk music of gangsta wannabes. This is the folk music of post industrial mill town America, of the people displaced when downtown became gentrified. This is grab-a-boilermaker-after-work folk music. This is put-down-the-pool-cue-and-listen folk music, music you can dance to and even listen to the words. And you should. Morey doesn't know it, but he's about to create the new Urban American Folk Music!
This is blues, jazz, rock and, if you insist, folk It's Wolf and Waits, Louie and Leonard (Cohen.that is). It's thumping bass that could be behind Charlie Feathers or J.B. Lenoir. It's a trap set from a burlesque theater and it's the kid who wanted to sound like Beiderbecke and now he does. It's working men and working girls just trying to get by. Its sound is as much the river, as the mills it used to power. It's Route 66 taking you west and Old Route One bringing you up the coast and home. It's fireworks on Chinese New Year and it's an old Western movie. And it's literate. (After all, Lowell is also the home of Jack Kerouac.) Literate, sure. But not enough to get in the way of a good time.
Morey's on the street again, before the show. Foot up on a thrift shop suitcase that carries the tools of his trade, harmonicas, strings, picks.. Mill buildings in the near distance, "Stella Kerouac lived over there, you know." He points. Everybody knows Frank. He's written their life story. Mothers introduce their daughters. An old man takes a boxer's crouch and dares him to go a few rounds.
He pulls the leather porkpie hat over his eyes, grumbles at the guys and then it starts in a torrent, an old Howlin' Wolf tune, the harmonica distorting just right to the mix.. Later he'll sing, "Careless Love" while mindlessly caressing the back of his guitar laid flat on his lap. Then an obscure Leonard Cohen tune. In between it'll be all original. One of a kind music, that rocks. Scott beats on Tub's bass strings during a version of "Mojo" that brings the house down. Cool 'em off with a Western ballad Then they're gone.... Maybe just back to Lowell, Maybe down Route 66. Maybe to Chicago to make a record in a studio where, if you're real quiet you can still hear the echoes of Big Joe Williams J.B. Hutto and Little Milton. Off to document this new urban American folk music!
Check out the artist's website:
1. I Know (The Woman's Goin to Break My Heart
3. New Orleans
4. Let It Roll
5. Every Night I Have The Same Damn Dream
6. Murder Bound
7. Saturday Night
8. Dry Up
9. Barmaid, Barmaid
10. Baby, Don't Leave a Light On
11. Uncle Lefty's Lament
12. Blame It On The Devil
13. Moonlight (On A Cloudy Saturday Night)
14. Red Brick Town
15. Goin' Down Kickin'
16. Hey-Hey Baby
18. Wishing Well
19. Stack O' Lee