CORY MORROW – BRAND NEW ME

Brand New Me

Cory Morrow is one of those songwriters that hasn’t succumb to the siren call of radio friendly country and kept his songs firmly rooted in Texas and makes no apologies. While guys like Pat Green, one of Cory’s good friends, have changed their style and bought some commercial success guys like Cory keep their music pure and are happy to write real songs and play to real fans. Now a lot what I just said is pretty much conjecture but that’s how this album makes me feel. Cory’s always written pretty upbeat songs and Brand New Me is no exception. I can queue this one up and know that it’s gonna make me smirk and think of my old lady. Honestly it’s less gritty than most of the music I listen to on a regular basis but Cory’s good enough that it just doesn’t matter.

Brand New Me is a solid album through and through but I almost didn’t write about it. It’s not that I don’t like it. I like it a lot in fact. It’s just that nothing has jumped out at me that made me want to put pen to paper about it, so to speak. That was until a couple of days ago I actually listened to the album. You see I had been playing it a lot but it was in the background: on headphones at work, in the truck driving home and so on. I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics. I knew the music was solid and there were a couple of catchy choruses but I hadn’t paid it the right kind of attention. Once I did I realized that this is an album full of love songs. They aren’t cheesy-hit-skip-to-get-to-the-next-track jingles but good love songs. I hadn’t paid it much mind because when I listen to it it makes me think of the people I love and not the music. I gotta say that’s a pretty neat trick since I love music as much as I do and it speaks to Cory’s songwriting ability as well. If you have recently broken up with someone then this isn’t the album for you but if you have a good partner and are surrounded by people you love then you should do yourself a favor and check this one out. It ain’t all love songs but that’s what stuck out to me so don’t go blaming me if you find a track on here that isn’t about loving someone.

Corry Morrow – Lead Me On
Corry Morrow – The Way I Do
Corry Morrow – Never Made It To My Lips

Cory Morrow’s official website
Cory Morrow on Twitter
Cory Morrow on Facebook

AN INTERVIEW WITH CORY MORROW BY ROMEOSIDVICIOUS:

Cory Morrow

One of the things I told our gracious host when he asked if I wanted to write for 9b was that I wanted to bring in some Texas flavor. Now I might occasionally write in a style that is reminiscent of my home state but I have been remiss in bringing the real flavor with me. Most of what I have done is the usual fare save three posts that I can think of. This is a long overdue post. I recorded this interview some months back and due to circumstances had to recover the original recording and clean it up as best I could. I can’t explain the pops during the interview but I am not a sound engineer. It’s not the greatest sound quality ever but I have cleaned it up as best I can. So go ahead and click play and listen while you read about the rest of the evening.

Cory Morrow Interview – August 2009 @ Dosey Doe Coffee House in The Woodlands, TX.

I was honestly nervous as hell about this since it was my first interview. I had sent out some e-mails to the publicists of Texas Country artists that I like and really didn’t expect anything to come of it. Then I got a call from Trey Lawson asking me if I wanted to interview Cory Morrow on a day’s notice. I accepted and had no idea what I was in for.

My brother came along for the show and we got to Dosey Doe about an hour and a half before the show started. This is where things started getting impressive. I normally go to dive bars to see shows and I like it that way. I have seen Cory in different dives over the years but this place was different. It’s a small place that I had never heard of and let me tell you that the venue needs it’s own full review but since this is a music blog I am tacking it on to the interview…

The place is a barn on the side of I-45 North just outside of Houston. Now don’t start thinking this is some sort of Cadillac Ranch scenario because it’s not by any stretch. The barn is 150 year old barn that was moved to Texas from Kentucky and lovingly rebuilt and built out to be a coffee shop over the course of two years. The man who masterminded the construction, Michael Ford, is still on staff as a manager and was there that night and made it his business to see that we were comfortable. When you walk in you can tell that this is not your average venue. It’s a dinner and a show sort of place but not like a joint that has a guy out back with a BBQ pit and some ribs. The main dining hall consists of a stage area and tables, no standing room, with a coffee bar and regular bar along the back wall. There are two level above this with tables positioned around the railing so that everyone can see the stage seating a total of 250 but you’d never know it walking in. The whole place, no matter where you are, feels like Grandma’s dining room.

The sound is not pushed out through huge stacks next to stage and you’d be hard pressed to notice a speaker anywhere in the room if you weren’t looking and yet the sound is amazing. This was accomplished by the owner bringing in two sound engineers, ignorant of each other, and following their advice wherever it agreed. They use small speakers throughout the venue so that the sound is the same no matter where you are standing. When Cory finally took the stage I was completely impressed. The sound was really amazing and his stories between songs sound like the man was standing next to you. And then there’s the menu…Gulf Seafood Martini, Smoked Duck and Forest Mushroom Quesadillas, 16 oz Buffalo Porterhouse and so much more.

The owner was there as well that night, Mr. Stephen Said, and bragged quite deservedly about his quaint little joint. Aside from being friendly and personable you could tell that his love for music, coffee, and food had spilled over into his place. All the food is prepared from scratch, all the coffee roasted in house, and the setup for dinner and music is arranged so everyone is through with their meal before the artist of the night starts playing so that both the amazing music and mouth watering food can be truly enjoyed. If you are out this way you need to make it a point to see a show at Dosey Doe because, no matter who is playing, it’s gonna be one of the best shows you’ve ever seen. Truth be told I had planned to have my anniversary dinner with the wife there but life got all in the way and it’s damn shame I ain’t been back. I think I will remedy that soon.

After the interview I asked Cory what tracks he would put up along with interview and he gave me a long list. I left some of them off because I don’t have them here but here are Cory’s picks for you folks to get introduced to his music:

Cory Morrow – He Carries Me off Vagrants and Kings
Cory Morrow – Light On The Stage off The Cory Morrow Band
Cory Morrow – (Love Me) Like You Used To Do off Outside The Lines
Cory Morrow – 21 Days off Full Exposure (Live)
Cory Morrow – GTMO Blues off Full Exposure (Live)
Cory Morrow – Big City Stripper off Full Exposure (Live)

Links:
Cory Morrow’s Website
Dosey Doe Website
Cory Morrow on Wikipedia
Cory Morrow on MySpace
Cory Morrow on Facebook
Cory Morrow on Lone Star Music

ROBERT EARL KEEN – THE ROSE HOTEL


The first time I ever heard anything referred to as Texas Country it was a song from Robert Earl Keen. That song, unlike many people’s first REK exposure (The Road Goes on Forever), was Corpus Christi Bay. My younger brother played it for me one evening and I was hooked. I speedily acquired REK’s catalog and branched out into other Texas Country artists like Cory Morrow, Pat Green, Jason Boland & The Stragglers just to name a few. I love the Texas Country scene and especially The Firehouse Saloon here in Houston. When I finally got into the music REK was too big a name to be playing the dives I tend to hang out in so I rarely see him play and yet he his music holds a special place in my heart. It may be that he was the first artist in a new genre that I heard but it is more likely that he is just an amazing singer/songwriter.

After a four year hiatus we finally have a new release from Robert Earl Keen. The Rose Hotel may be standard Robert Earl Keen but that doesn’t mean there is anything standard about the album. You see standard Robert Earl Keen is a cut above the rest even when it comes to Texas Country. I have been listening to this thing for two days now and haven’t found a single song I didn’t like. From the opening strokes of The Rose Hotel to the closing chords of Wireless in Heaven this is a solid album. Toss in some a Townes Van Zandt cover Flying Shoes and Billy Bob Thorton doing vocals on 10,000 Chinese Walk Into A Bar and you end up with something great. Fifteen albums into his career Robert Earl Keen proves once again that there is no mold that fits him and that suits us just fine.

If you aren’t already a Robert Earl Keen fan you should be. Give the 9b selections a listen and go get yourself REK’d…

Robert Earl Keen – The Rose Hotel
Robert Earl Keen – Throwin’ Rocks
Robert Earl Keen – The Man Behind The Drums

Robert Earl Keen’s Official Website, Robert Earl Keen on myspace, Buy The Rose Hotel