Friday, July 3, 2015
Where: nTelos Wireless Pavilion
In the tradition of songwriting greats Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Vic Chesnutt, Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers combine literate songwriting with accomplished musicianship to create music that gets at the heart of how it feels to be alive. Described by singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt as a “street hustler/spirt guide,” Morris embodies the voice of the outsider pushed to an edge by personal experience amidst a world that seems intent on collapse. A feeling of alienation runs through the music, as does a palpable psychological urgency, and an innate yearning–a search for deliverance, for redemption amidst decay. This is honest, gritty music that rings true to something essential. “The core at the center of ‘Love Wounds & Mars’ is this Keith Morris character,” writes songwriter/poet Tom House. “Every song–slash lines smart like Dylan–he defines himself, how he deals with his world, views it, beats it, and is beaten by it.”
The Crooked Numbers, stellar players handpicked from Charlottesville’s fertile music scene, alternately wail, whisper, slam, float and sting throughout. Subtle nuance in one song turns to catharsis in another, and the band handles the varying moods seamlessly. “The first impression of a sonically sturdy jam session–sometimes a bash, sometimes a collective bashing–is completely satisfying,” writes singer/songwriter Paul Curreri. “But ‘Love Wounds & Mars’ unfolds to reveal a woven gut of lonely characters, angry towns, toll roads leading to highways that stretch out. It’s an album you listen to by yourself, a soundtrack for making your big plans to break the fuck free.”
Sounds like: Southern-tinged Americana. Lyric-based Rock and Roll.
Reviews: “I plan to follow up in a few months and hope to get him to tell the stories behind the songs. At this point, I get the feeling that they may be too personal, that it may be too soon. I mean, I not only want to know, I need to know. The songs are that good.” (No Depression)
Fun Fact: ‘Blind Man’ came to Morris fully formed out of a dream: “I just woke up, hit the record button, and sang the whole song into my cell phone. To capture a song like that from a dream is quite a thing. It feels like you’ve gone down into the Loch and brought back Nessie.”