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Clint Morgan

Scofflaw – 2016 (Lost Cause)

Reviewed by Andrew Greenhalgh

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CDs by Clint Morgan

Clint Morgan, known for his serious blues and boogie woogie piano chops, delivers up a 19-song set full of Americana-flavored blues, boogie woogie and country with healthy doses of old school rock and roll. It's a sound that recalls bits of pieces of artists like Paul Thorn and Watermelon Slim while still allowing plenty of Morgan's ample personality to shine through. The record draws on themes of sin, crime and wrongdoing, harnessing the bluesy notes therein, while also hinting at bits of reconciliation and redemption through the inclusion of a few soulfully rendered hymns.

Among the highlights are the slow burning "Waco," whose tale of dark remorse is underscored with some scintillating guitar work and the Sun Records-era Johnny Cash vibes of "Wild One." "Don't Know Where to Turn" delivers bluesy boogie woogie notes with a stellar guest vocal from Texas blues singer Diunna Greenleaf while "I Love Robbing Banks" is playfully irreverent and musically stirring, benefitting from a bright horn section and Morgan's killer piano playing.

"Bad Man Blues" also hints at Cash influences with a solid "boom-chicka" beat undergirding the track as "Thief In the Night" showcases yet more relentless guitar licks while Morgan growls out his vocals. Morgan offers up a familiar tune, giving it a minor chord twist on "Wanted Man," making the song his, doing the same with the Bessie Davis blues classic "Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair." Maria Muldaur lends her rich voice to "Softly And Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling," giving an offer of redemption and solace that is fully accepted on the standout "I Done Made It Up In My Mind," a track that dares you to not get into the spirit.

"Scofflaw" is a deceptive album that runs the risk of falling through the cracks. Yet for those who discover this diamond in the rough, they'll be smitten with Morgan's great songwriting and his rich musical backdrop, dripping with southern flavored Americana.