Sounds like: California classic rock like Little Feat mixed with Texas honkytonk for a new breed of SoCal melting pot country
For fans of: Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson's "Brace For Impact," Band of Heathens
Why You Should Pay Attention: Though LA's country scene isn’t packed to the gills, it does boast a small but talented group of new artists making good on the state's Bakersfield history. Alongside Sam Outlaw, Jade Jackson and Jaime Wyatt, Houston-born Sam Morrow started putting out bluesy, boot-stompingly traditional records a few years back. His newest, Concrete and Mud, finds him merging classic rock, southern soul and funk in there, too (in fact, a friend of Morrow's dubbed it "countrified funk"). Making use of a vintage Neve 8068 console, Morrow recorded the LP, out March 30th, largely live and ventured to replicate the intimate intensity of catching him in concert. Morrow, who is now sober, has overcome some major hardships and Concrete and Mud is less about the sunny side of his home state and more about those wandering the streets with a past that lingers like a faded tattoo. "I’ve been through concrete and I have been through mud," he says, "but all these experiences make me what I am."
He says: "LA has a small scene that is beginning to blossom to the national stage," Morrow says. "It’s a really exciting thing to be a part of. It’s exciting to see so many bands popping up and they don’t have the feeling that they have to move to Nashville to do what they want to do. People forget about how rich the Southern California country scene has been in the past, and this is a revival of sorts."
Hear for yourself: With an opening groove that conjures up The Band's "Up on Cripple Creek," "Quick Fix" is Morrow growling through this swanky ode to instant gratification. M.M.