REVIEW: Sam Morrow’s “Concrete and Mud” is Roots Rockin’ Funk and Deep Growly Grooves


Earlier this spring, Sam Morrow released Concrete and Mud (Forty Below Records), which is a recommended listen if you haven’t yet.  Produced by Eric Corne (John Mayall, Lucinda Williams), recorded at King Size Sound Labs and Forty Below Studios, the album was recorded on a classic Neve 8068 console (which, in case you’re not a techie, according to several dozen threads on contains a unique collection of elements to create a “Class A” desirable level of warmth).  You’ll hear the warmth in the recording of these rich, layered Southern roots rock songs.

Sam Morrow is gaining a well-earned following for his combination of Southern rock, funky, and just plain good Americana music.   It’ll make you reminisce about the Band with Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel’s grooves — it’s that good, especially with the low popping bass, clavinet with “Up on Cripple Creek” style wah-wah, and vocal growls like the ones you’ll hear in “long enough to find the door” in the huge standout “Quick Fix.”

Jay Dee Maness (of the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo) plays pedal steel on “Skinny Elvis” [For more on Jay Dee Maness, see here: Interview: Jay Dee Maness on new album with Lloyd Green, the Byrds, Dukes of Hazzard and Working with Tom Petty ]. “Skinny Elvis” is a fast moving number about the Dixie hills and also features Jaime Wyatt. [For a show review of Jaime Wyatt, look here: Show Review: Jaime Wyatt Brings Style to Helotes Outside San Antonio ] Wyatt sang on two more of the songs: “Paid By the Mile,” a deep funky groove number Morrow co-wrote with bassist Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings) which is also one of several songs that feature both Wurlitzer (Sasha Smith) and Hammond B-3 (Skip Edwards) along with layers of jamming call-and-response guitar over Kamp on funky bass.

“Coming Home” snaps you to attention with “hopping around from state to state, from Muscle Shoals to Californ-i-a” and then it’s another low down dark groove when he “tries to run but you sweep me off my feet” on “Cigarettes.” His lineup on this also includes guitarist Eli Wulfmeir, Eamon Wyland on slide guitar, and drummer Matt Tecu along with Morrow on guitars and vocals. The Southern rock grooves continue throughout the whole project and the good vibes never stop. See for yourself, right here:

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