Whitey Morgan reaches back to his hometown roots in a grizzled new ode to the plight of the American auto worker, “What Am I Supposed to Do,” the latest song to be released from his upcoming LP, Hard Times and White Lines.
Morgan, who grew up in Flint, Michigan, isn’t the author of “What Am I Supposed to Do” — the credit for that goes to Detroit-based singer-songwriter Don “Doop” Duprie — but he sings it with the weary growl of a man who knows the hardship of workers whose livelihoods have slowly ebbed away. Played with a ghostly, loping beat, it’s half sullen two-stepper, half hard-luck heartland rocker told by a graveyard shift assembly line worker who could’ve walked straight out of Bruce Springsteen’s The River. “What am I supposed to do, Lord, when this is all I have ever known?” Morgan asks, singing the lament of someone whose family plied the trade since the Great Depression.
Hard Times and White Lines is the first album in three years for Morgan, now based in California, whose 2015 album Sonic Ranch — named for the Texas studio where the new one was also cut — went to Number 30 on the country charts. He plays Whitey’s 2nd Annual Birthday BBQ Bash Saturday night in North Fork, California, before heading out on tour next month in advance of the record’s October 26th release.