Gurf Morlix

Diamonds to Dust (Blue Corn)

Texas Platters

Gurf Morlix

Diamonds to Dust (Blue Corn)

From Lucinda Williams to Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, and Slaid Cleaves, Gurf Morlix fills his work with the tattered charm and frightful honesty of exceptional songwriters. Veteran Austinite, favored sideman, guitarist, producer, and singer-songwriter, Morlix's solo albums might be inconsistent, but Diamonds to Dust, his fourth, finds some of his collaborators' magic working its way through his pen. 2004's Cut 'N Shoot was a decidedly country affair, but here the focus circles death and dying, an apt match to his brand of roots 'n' blues' decidedly dark sense of humor. In full croak, "Blanket," inspired by the passing of Warren Zevon and Chris Slemmer (a roadie from his days with Lucinda), is surely Morlix's most touching moment. That it features Patty Griffin on harmony, as do several of the disc's tunes, makes it even chillier. The sole cover, Dylan's "With God on Our Side," is disturbing and timely. Death row lament "Killin' Time in Texas," written with Troy Campbell, and earnest riff-rocker "I've Got a Passion" are standouts on a splendid, moving collection.

***

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