Gurf Morlix is the musical equivalent of a Swiss Army knife. He produces, writes, sings and plays just about every instrument known to man.
If his name doesn’t ring any bells, there’s a good chance that you haven’t been looking through the liner notes of your favorite albums by Slaid Cleaves, Mary Gauthier, Ray Wylie Hubbard and of course Lucinda Williams.
His latest album, Last Exit to Happyland calls on the skills of a few musical friends but easily stands on its own as a thoughtfully created piece of work.
The album, filled with songs about people “headed for the reckoning day,” opens with the tune One More Second before moving to the first of two New Orleans inspired songs.
Walking To New Orleans is the story of a Big Easy resident arriving home to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. The other is Drums of New Orleans, to which Ruthie Foster adds her sublime wailing.
Music You Mighta Made is a tribute to Morlix’s buddy and Austin folk legend, Blaze Foley with mutual friend Barbara K of Timbuk3 providing supporting vocals.
Ian McLagan and his late wife Kim (who passed away in a car accident in 2006) also get a heartfelt nod in Voice of Midnight which features Patty Griffin.
Patty, who also appears on two other tracks, She’s A River and I Got Nothin’, offsets Gurf’s gravel-filled growl perfectly.
Last Exit to Happyland will be released on Rootball Records on February 17.