To some, Gurf Morlix may be best known for his efforts in various support roles – that is, the playing and production he’s contributed to albums by Lucinda Williams, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Tom Russell, Butch Hancock, Ian McLagan, Slaid Cleaves, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Miller, Peter Case, Bob Neuwirth, Trish Murphy, Marvin Etzioni, Andrew Hardin, Jim Lauderdale, Michael Penn and Mojo Nixon, among the many. Even so, Morlix’s profundity is in no way limited to his activities behind the boards, or even his multi-instrumental abilities. With eight albums released under his own aegis, Morlix has earned his place on the marquee alongside those whose efforts he’s supported.
His latest disc, Finds the Present Tense, puts full emphasis on Gurf’s grit and grooves, thanks to a set of songs that find him tattered, rattled, weary and resigned. Yet even in the bleak realms of tracks like “My Life’s Been Taken,” “Series of Closin’ Doors” and “Gasoline,” he tempers those well worn narratives with hope for redemption. The candid and confessional “Small Window,” the snaky shuffle “Lookin’ For you” and the heartbroken ballad “You Walk Away” all bow to a desire to somehow set things straight and nudge his way forward. Finds the Present Tense reconciles past with future and makes for a compelling connection.
DOWNLOAD: “You Walk Away,” “My Life’s Been Taken,” “Small Window” -LEE ZIMMERMAN