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”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0BDK1vrag 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”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIiIEvpZDDo 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch… 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’”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch…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.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQgIoKnF_lA 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW_gMrK3EpQIts 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch… 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”.https://www.youtube.com/watch… 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)

BY HYPERBOLIUM
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’

TONY NOBLES INTERVIEW WITH GURF MORLIX – VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE – UNEDITED VERSION

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

A: I WAS PLAYING CLUB GIGS WITH LUCINDA WILLIAMS IN THE LATE 80S. WE WERE MAKING ABOUT $2 EACH PER GIG, AND IT WASN’T LOOKING GOOD. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO QUIT WHEN SHE CALLED ONE DAY AND SAID “WE’VE GOT A RECORD DEAL. WHO CAN WE GET TO PRODUCE IT?”

I SAID “I’LL HANDLE THAT”, AND THEN I SLOWLY PULLED MY FOOT OUT OF MY MOUTH. I’D NEVER DONE MUCH OF THAT, BUT I HAD LAID THE GROUNDWORK AND KNEW I COULD DO IT.

OUT OF THAT CAME MORE PROJECTS. I’VE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY.

…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)