"Lost Love and Highways" is the third CD from 28-year-old Morgan and his first effort with Hightone Records. He has previously released "Ridin' In Style" (Antone's Records-1994) and "Louisiana Rain" (Antone's/Discovery-1996).
Morgan grew up in Minneapolis listening to hometown hero Bob Dylan's music as well as much of his family's fine record collection. At 13 he discovered the blues after hearing Lightnin' Hopkins, which set Morgan on a quest for roots music's origin. He soon found comfort listening to roots and blues music on such infamous labels as Chess, Sun and Stax, and then made a conscious decision to become a musician.
He quit school and by the age of 17 was playing music full time. This woodshedding led to stints with the Lamont Cranston band and harmonica stud James Harman, who taught the youngster the finer and not so finer points of blues life.
On advice from the Fabulous Thunderbird's Kim Wilson, Morgan headed south to Austin (he know lives there) for a little doze of Stevie Ray and some Texas lovin'. He landed a gig at Antone's and later received an offer to record his first two albums with Clifford on his house blues label. Morgan also credits Antone with getting him to start singing again; and a powerful instrument it is, perfectly suited for Morgan's swampy, rockin' blues sounds.
Joining Morgan-who wrote 10 of the 11 songs that appear on the CD-is drummer Chris Hunter, bass guitarist Jon Penner and producer Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown and Dave Moore). Recorded at Pachyderm Studios near Morgan's old Minneapolis hometown, "Lost Love and Highways" is a fine album that brings back the simple elements of the roots of blues and honky-tonk music.
Start with the title track, the simple but innocent "One More Night" and the only cover "A Word About A Women," which features Morgan in a duet with Lazy Lester on a song the legendary Louisiana bluesman recorded during his early days.
Good stuff here folks.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.