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MORGAN DAVIS

I GOT MY OWN

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Electro-fi (ELECTRO3440)

I Got My Own, Drive My Blues Away, Now That Hubert Is Gone, Heat Wave In Alberta, Too Much Competition, Camellia Grill, Wake Up!, Wha’Do Dat Do-Dad Do?, Relaxin’ At The Club, Telegraph Sex, That’s Why, Rosalee, Cardova, Somnambulatin’ Mama, Help Me, Front Door Blues

A new release from a little-known but impressive blues singer and guitarist born in Detroit but who cut his teeth as a musician while living in Toronto.

We first came across him a few years ago when we favourably reviewed his debut solo CD for Electro-fi (Drive My Blues Away – ELECTRO3424) and here we have his label follow up, an album every bit as good as its predecessor.

Not that this album consists of all new recordings. Around half of it comprises a live set from back in 2000, but it is so well recorded and presented that it fits nicely alongside the more recent studio sides to deliver a varied but satisfyingly coherent album. Morgan has a lovely warm and expressive voice and plays the guitar in a range of contemporary and traditional blues styles but he stands out from the crowd most however by the quality and variety of his song-writing.

Of the studio sides, one of obvious highlights is Now That Hubert Is Gone, a heart-felt tribute to killer blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin and his magical musical relationship with his mentor, Howlin’ Wolf. This track is driven along by the Hubert-like guitar riffing from guest guitarist, Colin Linden. On Wha’ Do Dat Do-Dad Do? Morgan summons up some nonsensically-funky hep-cat riffing that fans of Chuck E Weiss should love, while Camellia Grill offers up a New Orleans-style gumbo stew featuring some lovely piano rolls from Lance Anderson. Elsewhere, Wake Up! Is a brief but enjoyable slice of blues-rock and the closing track on the CD, Front Door Blues is a lovely solo rendition of the Kokomo Arnold classic with gorgeous bottleneck guitar.

The live numbers include some humorous asides on the subject of making a living as a touring musician (That’s Why) and how the equivalent of today’s trend towards telephone sex (whatever that is!!) must have worked in day’s gone by (Telegraph Sex). There are also some super cover versions to close the show, including the blues funk of The Meters’ Cardova and a seriously-groovy reading of Sonny Boy Williamson’s Help Me, featuring the blues harp support of Al Lerman of Fathead. 

A very nice album this, don’t let it pass you by!  

 

Review Date: August 2014

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