Well, let’s just keep the “this is your daddy’s country music” theme going and talk about Whitey Morgan and the 78’s. I bought Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels based solely on the album cover and title and the minute I heard the first track, “Hold Her When She Cries”, I knew I’d made a great decision. Take a listen down below and try to tell me you couldn’t hear Merle Haggard singing that to you through the crackle of a record player.
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 holy trinity of country music (and blues), 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 bare-chested Kenny Chesney (say hey to Peyton for me, Kenny). Give Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels a chance if you love playing “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.