Rock


After making a name for himself as a record producer for a roster of other artists that includes Robert Earl Keen and Lucinda Williams, Gurf Morlix struck out on his own with a solo effort when Catamount Records issued Toad of Titicaca in 2000. Morlix, a guitar player who sings and plays a number of other instruments, penned 11 numbers for his debut. The tracks, showcasing the many facets of Morlix as a songwriter, include a humorous homage to actor Dan Blocker, who played Hoss on the Western television series Bonanza; the equally funny "Greatest Show on Earth"; the country-flavored "Robin Sings at Midnight"; and the heart-tugging lament "Rainin' on Me." A native of Buffalo, NY, Morlix began his career in 1966. During his youth he taught himself to play music after his attention was snagged in a big way first by Elvis, and then by Hank Williams. Blown away by Williams' talent, Morlix picked up the steel guitar and focused on country music. New York didn't offer much in the way of country bands he could hook up with, so the aspiring musician headed for California, where he met Lucinda Williams. Morlix ended up leading her band, singing, and playing guitar, as well as eventually producing her albums. Before she hit it big, however, the band played local hangouts and nightspots, sometimes pulling in as little as ten dollars for an entire evening's work. Morlix, tired of the unprofitable grind, prepared himself to call it quits. Before he could tell Williams, however, she got word that a record deal was in the works, and he was slated to work as her producer. A more profitable and fruitful time followed, but Morlix and Williams parted in later years in a way that left their friendship in trouble. Through the years, Morlix also produced such artists as Ray Wylie Hubbard, Tom Russell, Butch Hancock, Ian "Mac" McLagan, Slaid Cleaves, the Pinedogs, and the Setters. His numerous recording credits include works by Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Miller, Peter Case, Bob Neuwirth, Trish Murphy, Marvin Etzioni, Andrew Hardin, Jim Lauderdale, Don Walser, Michael Penn, Linda McRae, Danny Tate, and Mojo Nixon, among others. Buddy Miller included "A Girl Like You," a Morlix-penned tune, on Your Love and Other Lies, an album he recorded for Hightone. As a member of a group called the Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers, Morlix plays weekly at the Austin, TX, nightspot Empanada Parlour. The band and Morlix released an album through Catamount, for which he again donned his producer's hat. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi