Sam Morrow doubles down on the muscular country-funk of his 2018 album Concrete and Mud with “Rosarita,” the first release from the California performer’s upcoming LP. Titled Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down, the project is due October 30th via Forty Below Records.
Morrow penned “Rosarita” with fellow Californian Jaime Wyatt and it makes use of a strutting drum groove, interlocking rhythmic guitar lines, and dive-bombing, wah-wah slide guitar leads to set the stage for Morrow’s gritty vocals. He sings of a favorite source of pleasure, which turns out to also be a source of pain. “I’m livin on cold pizza/I’m mixing up my days/She’s an hour from my doorstep/Yeah, Rosarita, ain’t nothin’ sweeter, but she only brings me rain,” he sings, evoking Little Feat and other giants of Seventies funk-rock.
“I want to make music like that — funky, layered rock where it’s not just the songwriting that’s important, but the presentation, too,” Morrow says, citing three inspirations: David Bowie, Robert Palmer, and Little Feat’s Lowell George. “This song is a great example of that. It has Bowie, Palmer and George, and again me talking about the things that weigh me down but keep me coming back.”
Working with drum grooves from percussionist Matt Tecu, Morrow started writing and arranging his new songs around the beats with the help of co-producer Eric Corne. They recorded Gettin’ By on Gettin’ Down at the Los Angeles-area studio owned by the Doors’ Robby Krieger, trying out new sounds and experimenting with how far they could take each number.
“We did a lot of touring all over the world behind Concrete and Mud,” Morrow says. “Getting to play with different musicians, different ensembles, in different places really informed where I wanted this new record to go. I’m always listening for where I can push the boundaries a bit more.”