From the King Tut Vintage Album and Cassette Museum of Jacksonville facebook page

Gurf Morlix is an artist whose songwriting, arrangements, and execution seem to get stronger with each album; quite an impressive feat since Gurf’s albums, for years, have been at such a high bar. IMPOSSIBLE BLUE is distinctive among Gurf’s recent albums because as strong as the prior albums are, this record probably contains the strongest song sequence of his records. In addition, Gurf is joined on this album by veteran keyboard player, Red Young, long-time drummer, Rick Richards, and Austin singer-songwriter Jaimee Harris on harmony vocals. Together, they create a tight, organic sound where each player pushes the overall sound further than it might otherwise be. Gurf and Young, in particular, have a chemistry on this album on guitar and organ, respectively, that really add to the strength and feel of these tunes.

There are multiple songs on this album that deliver knockout punches. A case in point is “2 Hearts Beating in Time”. This song has a laid back but hypnotic vibe, powered by Rick Richard’s heartbeat-like drumming and Gurf’s unique guitar work. At its core, the song is about realizing that time is precious and making the most out of it, by doing something important: lying next to and breathing with someone you love. Pretty simple, but there’s magic in this song and somehow the feeling of life affirming, mystical shared breathing is captured in the lyric and music of this song. Another stand out song from the fist half of the album is “I’m a Ghost”. There’s some-thing about the sound of this song that’s really interesting; the song’s meter is slow, but Gurf and Rick Richards play subtle staccato notes/fills in the verses that almost emulate a string section. Lyrically, there’s a relationship that didn’t work out and the singer is no longer in the picture, and hence, is like a ghost. There’s talk of a crime scene and detective’s detecting without having clues. But you’re not sure if these are metaphors or real. The song is in a minor key with a really strong chorus, augmented by Jaimee Harris’ wonderful vocal harmonies: “Here stands a prisoner who committed no crime. There sits a judge wasting time. I can’t say nothin’, I can’t appear. I’m a ghost and I was never here.” There’s another song toward the end of the album, “I Saw You”, which also talks about a relationship which is over and a potential crime scene and a bullet. But again, you’re never sure if Gurf is talking metaphorically or literally. Its possible that these two songs are linked conceptually. Musically, they’re both killers, with “I Saw You” being one of four stand-out songs on the second half of the album. Needless to say, after the reflective vibe running throughout Gurf’s last album, THE SOUL AND THE HEAL, it appears that the body count is back up a bit on this new album.

IMPOSSIBLE BLUE is perfectly sequenced. To my ears, among its 9 songs, there seems to be a distinct side one and side two (If this album is out in vinyl, I haven’t seen it). I would say that side 1 is comprised of the first 5 songs. The leadoff, “Turpentine” is a rocker which talks about a temptingly attractive lady that you might nonetheless want to avoid.… The woman’s “voice is like honey from the hive”, her lips have a “blood red shine”, her breath smells like expensive wine, but her kisses “taste a little like turpentine”. Underlying the song, Gurf is doing all kinds of interesting distortive twists and turns on guitar. “My Heart Keeps Poundin’” is another rocker, with the great line, “War, peace, rock and roll, these are forces beyond our control” and the chorus, “my head is throbbin’, my world keeps wobblin’, all the alarms are soundin’. But somehow my heart keeps poundin’”.…The “side” ends with another bluesy shuffle, “Sliver of Light”. This is an interesting take on the relationship between musician and audience and the give and take they share on any given night.

IMPOSSIBLE BLUE is a strong album from the get-go. But there’s a special magic in its second half. Its the musical equivalent of four back-to-back home runs. The first, “Bottom of the Musquash River”, is a power chord epic about a river adventure gone bad. The power chords signal that something formidable and ominous lies ahead. In the lyric, the singer’s significant other somehow goes overboard and to the bottom and the bubbles soon stop coming to the surface. If you’ve ever white water rafted or done a challenging canoe trip, you’ll feel the sense of impending danger as you hear Gurf singing the tale and describing paddling past “Hell’s Gate” and Bone Island.” The writing on this song is fantastic with lines like, “the current offers no condolence that my love lingers there”. Great vocal by Gurf on this one and throughout the rest of the album. The next song, “Spinnin’ Planet Blues” is another killer. a blues, an electric distant cousin in feel, to Neil Young’s “On the Beach” in which Gurf sings of being “an outcast, out here on the fringe, my existence is swinging on a rusty hinge.” As the song goes on you gotta think, is the song about a relationship gone bad, or a planet dealing with pollution, climate change, and other dangers? Powering the song is Gurf’s electric blues playing which thankfully, continues for an extended period and its interplay with Red Young’s great or-gan work, and Richards’ drumming. From here, a great electric mid-tempo tune, “I Saw You”, where Gurf and Red Young both shine and Young’s organ playing is given ample room to stretch out, totally enhancing this song.… This song has the kind of infectious melody line and chord structure that make you want to play air guitar and sing along with as it plays. “I Saw You” is instrumentally, rhythmically, and structurally awesome with Rick Richards’ cymbals crashing at just the right second and Red Young’s organ playing jaw droppingly strong. Its really a great ensemble sound. The album ends with a soft, reflective eulogy to a departed drummer, roommate, bandmate and friend, “Backbeat of the Dispossessed”.… The title of the album is delicately placed in this song. Its a touching look backward and to the present, hoping that the friend finally found peace. Great harmonies by Jaimee Harris here too.

IMPOSSIBLE BLUE is the latest chapter in a succession of unique and inspired albums by Gurf Morlix. Check it out. (written by Phil Zisook)


MARCH 12, 2015

Two years ago, Gurf Morlix’s Finds the Present Tense, found the singer-songwriter contending with noir-like inevitability and consequences. His protagonists were hung-up in the here-and-now, at intersections whose resolutions were one-way streets to the future. His new collection shifts the timeframe, looking back at a gritty childhood whose future was surprisingly open-ended. Unlike the fixed destinies of his fictional protagonists, Morlix’s own future was not set in stone by earlier events. The disappointments of “50 Years” yields surprises, and the smoke-filled air of “Born in Lackawana” didn’t obscure the choice between life in the steel mill and roads that led out of town. Morlix’s nostalgia is colored by the melancholy of time, and the distortions of his rear-view mirror leaves the temptations of “Dirty Old Buffalo” barely visible beneath the city’s newly polished exterior.
…continue reading No Depression – Gurf Morlix – Eatin’ at Me

Gurf Morlix won mainstream recognition during his time as Lucinda Williams’ guitar player, musical director and producer. After they had a falling out over the band’s musical direction, Morlix moved on and became a freelance producer. Since then, he’s helmed projects by a diverse set of country and Americana artists including Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ian McLagan, Slaid Cleaves and Mary Gauthier, as well as his own records. …continue reading Sing Out! – GURF MORLIX: Eatin’ At Me

By Jon Sobel, BLOGCRITICS.ORG Published 10:00 pm, Friday, January 30, 2015

Eatin’ at Me, Gurf Morlix’s new album of all original songs, is a beautifully produced work of dusty Americana. It opens with a gritty minor-key punch to the gut, the presumably autobiographical mini-epic “Dirty Old Buffalo,” which paints a historical panorama of Buffalo NY with reminiscences about a musician’s life there around the 1970s. Morlix was in fact “Born in Lackawanna” outside Buffalo, as a song by that name – one with a heavily personal flavor – declares later on the album.
…continue reading Music Review: Gurf Morlix – ‘Eatin’ At Me’


Q: How did you get to be the one producing?




…continue reading VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE – Interview

On his third outing, guitarist and producer Gurf Morlix shifts gears with a cranking clatter.

While his previous recordings were saturated with loud and greasy guitars and killer bluesy riffs that provided enough good vibes to start-or end a party, this set is markedly different; it’s a solid country record, stripped to the rag and bone shop of the heart, and full of broken love songs. And though the subject matter is on the low-down side of lonesome, the musical groove is prescribed as pure honky tonk pain management.

…continue reading ALL MUSIC GUIDE – Cut ‘N Shoot Review (Thom Jurek)

On his second solo outing, guitarist, songwriter, and producer extraordinaire Gurf Morlix (yeah, he was Lucinda Williams’ guitar player when she was still writing songs that still meant something) throws a small curveball to those who loved his debut, Toad of Titicaca.

There’s still plenty of meaty guitar and down-to-the-bone production to keep those lovers of grease and roll happy, but here Morlix displays his real gift for songwriting.

Using the same two cats that so rawly adorned Toad, ex-Faces keyboard player Ian McLagan on Hammond B3 and drummer Rick Richards, Morlix weaves tales of terror, depression, nonsense, strange stories, and allegories in the languages of morning after blues, rough and rowdy rockabilly, folk, country, greasy R&B, and Texas rock.

The opener, “Torn in Two,” is a shimmering, razored edge tome of desperation and heartbreak. The acoustic guitars shimmy under the verse until the bass drum and snares kick in with the organ and electric guitars on the refrain: “I’ve got a heart that’s torn in two/ everyone can see/I’m nothin’ without you/my heart’s been torn in two.” Morlix’s trademark beer bottle slide ushers in the interludes to devastating effect.
…continue reading ALL MUSIC GUIDE – Fishin In The Muddy Review (Thom Jurek)

Check out this little film Kevin Triplett and Gurf made while they were on their Swedish Death March Tour 2012. It’s about 20 minutes long, and pretty effin’ funny. It features a song from Gurf’s forthcoming album, Gurf Morlix Finds The Present Tense (release date March 5). It also has songs by Blaze Foley and Ringo Starr. Troy Campbell and Ray Bonneville also make appearances.

OK, here’s the deal – My new album is out now. It’s called EATIN’ AT ME. It has a bunch of really good songs, I think, and the greatest album cover the world has ever seen. In my opinion, anyways. Let me know what you think about that.

I am the chief strategist, here at Rootball Records. I’m the only strategist. I’m the label. I’m the distributor. I’m the manager. I’m the booking agent, and I’m the one that sweeps up. I’m in charge. Of all of it. This is a one man operation.

If you’d like to buy a copy of EATIN’ AT. ME, it’s easy. You can get one now. Signed. Cuz you’re special. CLICK HERE

That’s my DNA on the copies I mail out to anyone who orders them. Those are my fingerprint smudges next to where I personalized the copy especially for you. Whatever it was you asked me to write. Well, pretty much. Within reason.

I do all this because I care. I care about the songs, which are my babies. I care so much about the sound. I obsess over the recording process more than you will ever know. Every note that was played has been considered extensively, from every possible angle. I try to find the exact placement for every part. From side to side, in the listener’s head. From top to bottom. From front to back. This is all extremely important to me. I once spent an entire afternoon at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, staring at the 5 or so paintings I thought were the ones that transcended time and space, thinking about how the mixes of my songs, and the sound of the albums I produce, could somehow represent the depth I found in those works of art. I’m not sure I have approached this level of art, but I’m trying as hard as i can. This is how much I think about all of this.

I put as much attention into the songs. I used to just get ’em to the point where they pretty much rhymed, and didn’t sound stupid, and then I called ’em done. I have learned a lot from all the amazing songwriters I have worked with, over the years. I think the most important thing I learned is to understand when a song is finished, or not. Ready to be played in public. Or not. I’ve learned that if the creative spark is right, it’s worth however much time it takes to hammer the song into whatever shape it takes. Some of these songs I have been working on for 5 years or more. They are not ready until they are as good as I can possibly make ’em.

I put as much thought into the album cover art, and I am fairly well proud of all my covers. A couple were done with a time restriction, and weren’t quite as good as they might have been, because of that. That will never happen again. The main lesson I have learned in all my years in the music business is that there are no deadlines. The powers that will be impose them upon you, but they never really mean anything. Years of experience have taught me that as hard as anyone pushes for a deadline, the date always falls away, and ultimately means nothing. Every time. I love the sound that deadlines make, as they whoosh past my ears.

Most of all, I really do care about you, the listener. A phony sounding line, but I am serious. I don’t do this for me. Well, maybe a little, but mostly I do this for you. I’m nothing without you. Sounds trite, but it’s true. I have been out there, on the road, for the past 5 or 6 years, trying to connect with people who like my music. It keeps getting better. That’s all I need to carry on.

OK – here’s the deal. Again. If I’m playin’ somewhere near you, please make the effort to come see me. You’ll laugh, and you’ll cry. You’ll get a good show. You’ll be glad you came. If you know a place you think I should play, let me know. If you wanna have me play a house concert, or know someone that might want to host one, let me know. I want to play anywhere anyone wants to listen. If you like any of the albums I’ve produced for other artists, please help support them. We all need all the help we can get.

Let’s talk.