Last Exit to Happyland (Rootball)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Feb. 13, 2009
Gurf MorlixLast Exit to Happyland (Rootball)
Gurf Morlix's fifth recording fits neatly on the shelf with his others, Last Exit to Happyland akin to journeying into the past and rediscovering all that made you you. Still best known as the sideman's sideman, Morlix's repute as a producer remains equally stellar (Lucinda Williams, Ray Wylie Hubbard), meaning Happyland sounds happily lived in. The guitarist is at ease enough with his songwriting to pay tribute to his running buddy Blaze Foley on "Music You Mighta Made" and Ian McLagan's late wife, Kim, on the ethereal "Voice of Midnight." He also has the good sense to burnish his tangy, creek-bed vox with help from local songbirds Ruthie Foster ("Drums From New Orleans"), Barbara K ("Music You Mighta Made"), and Patty Griffin ("She's a River," "I Got Nothin'," "Voice of Midnight"). With Last Exit, Morlix bought a ticket to stay waist-deep in his beloved muddy.