Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., April 23, 2004
Gurf MorlixCut 'n Shoot (Blue Corn) After a couple of albums of clattering rock 'n' blues, Gurf Morlix climbs aboard his tractor and takes a ride down a country road. Cut 'n Shoot finds the local guitarist and producer concentrating on the broke-down side of heartbreak performed with a honky-tonk groove that's plowed deep and wide. It's truly a solo effort with Morlix playing all the instruments and even adding backing vocals, with the exception of drummer Rick Richards on a couple of tracks and Linda McRae adding the occasional harmonies. Anyone who's heard Morlix's work with Lucinda Williams, or more recently with Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard, or Robert Earl Keen, knows he's capable of distinctively creative musicianship in a variety of settings, and that's on full display on Cut 'n Shoot. He visits Bakersfield with "Were You Lyin' Down?" and its rejoinder "when you were standing me up." There's an element of Dock Boggs' old weird America in the banjo-inflected country blues "The Whole Truth" and some sadly loping country rock on "Where There Is Smoke," a co-write with Jim Lauderdale. What's most surprising about Cut 'N Shoot is that we haven't heard this type of sound from Morlix since he left Lucinda. Then it was her sound, but here he demonstrates that he's more than capable of tackling trad-country subjects in a way that's direct, honest, and, at times, filled with humor while and here's the tough part making it all sound fresh and new.