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Morris stands strong

The Troubadour, West Hollywood, Cal., December 5, 2023

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Maren Morris said several times during her sold-out show that this intimate club show made her feel as though her cup was being filled. This is because there's just something affirming whenever performers can make eye contact with most of their audience, which just feels so good and so empowering. Morris rewarded this packed house with a strong vocal performance, and we could all easily see the joy in her eyes.

Morris' band, which included a female bassist, as well as a female backing vocalist, did not include any distinctly country instrumentation (no steel guitar, no fiddle), even though one of her most popular songs (one she even performed this night) "My Church" compares listening to traditional country music to a kind of religious experience. However, Morris is a strong songwriter and even stronger singer, which made for a fulfilling night of country-accented (at least) music.

In addition to her hits, Morris also sang a few "deep cuts," such as the pretty ballad "Space," as well as newer songs like "The Tree" and "Get The Hell Out Of Here." She closed her show with the heartening "The Bones," before coming back for a multi-song encore, which included "Second Wind" and "Drunk Girls Don't Cry."

Morris has waffled back and forth in the press regarding whether she is or is not 'in' country music still. However, there were fewer girls in cowboy boots and hats than at the typical country music show this evening. There were, though, plenty of girls that sang along heartily with every song. Her bond with her fans showed no signs of weakening.

Morris had no opening act, which meant for a nearly two-hour set and an early night's end on a weeknight. You can say what you will about Morris' uncertain genre direction, but as her song "The Bones" reminds us, "The house don't fall when the bones are good," and Morris' songcraft is undeniably still standing strong.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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