With little more than the first song I heard from these guys the band moved straight onto my “watch closely” list. When Bloodshot announced they were signing the band I literally did a fist pump here at my computer. As good of news as it was for the band, I viewed it as equally good news for all those bands I write about still sitting out there w/o label representation. I know Bloodshot ain’t the “biggest” label but within our little scene they are certainly one of the most well respected and, for me, Whitey getting signed by them was a victory for the little guys.
Whitey Morgan and gang come from Flint, Michigan, a region of the country that has felt the effect of the global economy and overseas job loss as great (possibly greater) as any region in the country. The Flint people know despair, poverty and struggle. Despair, poverty and struggle are the ice in the whiskey tumbler that is country music, so it stands to reason that the country music coming from Flint would more represent the outlaws of the 70′s and 80′s than the manufactured faux country of….say….Eric Church? Give Whitey Morgan and the 78’s a chance if you love playing Haggard’s “Swinging Doors” on your local watering hole’s jukebox as much as I do. You may just find that these barely-known kids coming out of Michigan have made your favorite album of the year. They’re stumbling their drunk asses onto my Essential Listening list.
Whitey Morgan and The 78’s – Bad News
Whitey Morgan and The 78’s – Hardscratch Pride
Whitey Morgan and The 78’s – I Ain’t Drunk
Whitey Morgan and The 78’s Official Site, Whitey Morgan and The 78’s on myspace, Buy Whitey Morgan and The 78’s
What happens when one of the kings of gothic country teams up with the dusty voice of a musical time gone by of Rachel Brooke?
With the release of A Bitter Harvest we find out.
A Bitter Harvest features 1/2 of the gothic country outfit Those Poor Bastards, Lonesome Wyatt, with Michigan born songstress, Rachel Brooke. The album is 10 tracks long with each artist writing 1/2 the songs (Lonesome wrote the odd tracks and Rachel wrote the even ones) while all 10 feature the playing and singing of both collaborators. I wasn’t really sure how the old time nature of Rachel’s voice would pair with the baritone of Lonesome voice in the weeks leading up to this album but I am happy to announce that they fit together quite nicely and when they’re at their best they can be downright spooky. This spookiness is best highlighted in the lead off track, This Painful Summer.
Every time I write about a new Those Poor Bastards I use the same line, “Imagine Death himself plopping his ass down at your campfire with his pal and band mate, Desperation, and they break out in song.what do you think that would sound like? I am gonna say Those Poor Bastards is pretty close“. Adding Rachel to that sound is like adding one of the Sirens of Sirenum to the mix to lure the woeful and the wretched into their musical nightmare.
Even though this is easily the most “accessible” album either of them have ever released, beware, it still isn’t safe for delicate ears or weak souls.
Lonesome Wyatt & Rachel Brooke – This Painful Summer
Lonesome Wyatt & Rachel Brooke – Someday I’ll Fall
Those Poor Bastards on myspace, Rachel Brooke on myspace, Buy A Bitter Harvest