Sam's Burger Joint Presents:
Sun, November 18, 2018
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pmSam's Burger Joint
$13.00 - $40.00
This event is 18 and over
NO Seating GUARANTEED. Any Seating Available is on a First Come, First Served Basis. NO REFUNDS all sales final.
All Minors Will Be Charged an Additional $5 At the Door. 17 & Under Admitted with Parent or Guardian Only. - $10 Advance/ $13 Day of Show/ $40 Reserved Booth
Musically, this is Sam Morrow at his electrified, energetic peak. The sad-eyed sounds of Ephemeral and its 2015 follow-up, There Is No Map -- both written during the early years of Morrow's sobriety -- have been replaced by something more representative of Morrow's live show, in which he fronts a band of plugged-in roots-rockers. Accordingly, Concrete and Mud doubles down on a blend of countrified funk and guitar-fueled southern rock, shot through with train beats, Telecaster twang, bluesy slide guitar, swirling organ, with Morrow's big, booming voice front and center. There's balance, too. For every swaggering country rocker like "Heartbreak Man" or "Good Ole Days," there's a gorgeous, emotional punch to the gut like "San Fernando Sunshine" or "The Weight of A Stone."
"Paid by the Mile" is full of 70s-worthy stomp and Southern swagger. "Quick Fix" is an infectious hook laden stew of syncopated beats with bubbling clavinet, slinky guitars and doubled vocals. Morrow croons one minute and growls the next with a sly nod to his influences while staking out new territory. From Lynyrd Skynyrd-friendly rockers like "Heartbreak Man" to the Little Feat-worthy grooves of "Cigarettes," Concrete and Mud boldly explores a wide range of styles and sounds.
There's also an undercurrent of classic country running throughout the mix. On "Skinny Elvis," Morrow sings with his longtime friend and frequent tour mate Jamie Wyatt, resulting in a throwback duet worthy of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris' "Ooh Las Vegas." [Jay Dee Maness, who performed alongside Parsons during the recording sessions for the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, plays pedal steel on the track.] Elsewhere, Morrow evokes Billy Joe Shaver's "Georgia on a Fast Train" with the sly yet cutting "Good Ole Days," proving you can take the man out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the man.
Like his previous albums, Concrete and Mud was produced by songwriting partner Eric Corne, with Morrow playing a more active role in the recording process. The two took an experimental approach. Wurlitzers were run through phaser pedals. Farfisa organs were recorded through revolving Leslie speaker cabinets. Songs like "Cigarettes" were reinforced with throbbing mini-moog synth, while murder ballads like "Weight of a Stone" were laced with looping percussion and timpani flourishes. On "Paid by the Mile," Morrow and his band-mates kept the tape running during the song's final moments, stretching their legs during a long, loose jam session before segueing into the ceremonious intro of "San Fernando Sunshine." The result is the most adventurous album of Morrow's career, and his third release for Corne's label, Forty Below Records.
A young veteran who's honed his songwriting skills and performing chops through years of live gigs in clubs and dance halls throughout his home state, James is equally adept at delivering heartbreak and humor, maintaining an earthy, organic honesty that stands in sharp contrast to the slick, gimmicky product that currently dominates the country charts.
"The love that I have for traditional country music is like a mission to me," James affirms. "For me, there's never been any consideration of 'Well, if I change this, I might sell more records.' For me, it's always been all or nothing, and this is how I do it."
The 13 original compositions that comprise Jason James make it clear that the artist is interested in making music that's timeless rather than retro, reflecting his interest in adding to country tradition rather than merely emulating it.
Such catchy, impeccably crafted numbers as "Here Comes the Heartache," "I've Been Drinkin' More," "Back in My Arms" and "Fancy Limousine" have the ring of classic country songcraft, embodying the mix of swagger, sensitivity and pointed lyrical wordplay that's James' trademark. Meanwhile, the stirring album-closer "Walk Through My Heart," co-written with fellow country tunesmiths Jim Lauderdale and Odie Blackmon, demonstrates James' uncanny ability to create stirring, heart-tugging ballads in the classic mold. And he delivers his compositions in a voice that's unfailingly persuasive, whether he's belting out a sly, infectious honky-tonk tune or ringing the heartache out of an aching ballad.
"A lot of people come up to me at shows and say 'I never liked country, but I like you,'" James notes. "I always say 'You're just not listening to the right country.'"
Although his songs and style demonstrate the inspiration of his vintage country-music heroes, Jason James is no traditionalist Luddite. By the time he embraced old-school country, he'd already accumulated a wealth of diverse musical experience. He's well-versed in punk and hard rock, and can knowledgably discuss the work of Austin psychedelia pioneers the 13th Floor Elevators in detail.
Sam's Burger Joint
330 East Grayson Street
San Antonio, TX, 78215