love wound & mars

No Depression Reviews Love Wounds & Mars

“…..I plan to follow up in a few months time and hope to get him to tell the stories behind the songs. At this point, I get the feeling that they may be too personal, that it may be too soon. I mean, I not only want to know, I need to know. The songs are that good.”

and

“….The name is Keith Morris. The band is The Crooked Numbers. Write that down. You could regret it if you don’t.”

Read full No Depression review of love wounds & mars here.

 

Songwriter Brady Earnhart reviews Love Wounds & Mars

Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers, Love Wounds & Mars

My first and strongest impression of this album is that it rocks—for better and worse. Sometimes it leans hard into Southern stadium rock, Dylan (“Nowhere Road”), Pink Floyd (“Mexico”), and Dire Straits (“Don’t Look Down”). The vocal phrasing and the feedbacky high lead guitar wails permeate some of the songs with hard-to-ignore nostalgia.

Still, what’s most salient and consistent about the sound of the album is what a well-seasoned band sound it has. The instruments and vocals lean against one another like old friends on a couch—at times you lose track of whether you’re listening to organ, fiddle, or pedal steel, for instance, yet the production never feels overdone. The party is just crowded enough.

A few of the high points for me: “Nowhere Road” with its appropriately driving feel—the background vocals and instruments move with the momentum of a train—and the haunting image of “a drowning man / just clutching onto a razor blade.” “Blind Man” has for its tragic central trope a guy who can’t see but can’t stop watching. The wry political wink at the end (“drill baby drill”) makes the song add up to a rollicking lament for runaway capitalism.

I have to agree with the reviewer who called “Like a Haze” the strongest cut on the album, yet it’s hard to pin down exactly why. The melody is as loose as the referentiality of the lyrics, draped over the very definite atmospherics of the accompaniment. The song is almost without hooks, in the conventional sense; instead, it is a hook, holistically. It wears its ambiguity on its sleeve, and it earns it. “Take a few of those back”—a few whats? But this approach doesn’t come off coy so much as coherent with the swampedness of the relationship depicted here: the singer is similarly out of his depth with his beloved and with language, and the parallel works.

I’m also fond of “Diamond Mask” – the non-sequitur progressions and the near-synesthesia of the imagery (“I need to hear a railroad song / straight for two miles long”) fall perfectly in line with the song’s footloose content.

Love Wounds & Mars brings us striking new American designs. The characters feel unique and authentic. The characters feel unique and authentic. They’re fresh inhabitants of a world we know—not old, but definitely not foreign to our ears. Still better, Morris’s lyrics here (as on Songs from Candyapolis) love the incidental poetry of language uttered before it quite coalesces into literal meaning: “high-water booty from Knoxville,” “watch the hickory as it seeps,” “the third ring of coincidence,” “I come from many sins in the west.” The result is a fetching, benign vertigo—we find ourselves on just the other side of clear. The right side.

–Brady Earnhart
Brady Earnhart.com .

Alternative Airwaves review of Love Wounds & Mars

Review of album can be read at here at Alternative Airways.

WTJU Radio Interview about “love wounds & mars”

Keith Morris joins Peter Jones on WTJU Folk and Beyond to discuss songwriting, his new album “love wounds & mars,” and to play some tracks off the album.

Bordertown (Official Video)

video by Lance Smith, Bottle Tree Films

Diamond Mask (Official Video)

Diamond Mask, from the album “love wounds & mars”
Mista Boo Music 2012
Video by Bottle Tree Films
Written by Chris Culhane, with additional lyrics by Keith Morris.

‘love wounds & mars’ makes best albums of 2012 list!

Frank Gutch Jr: The Best of 2012, Vinylly— The Shoes!, and Notes…..

Blind Man (Official Video)

from the album “Love Wounds & Mars”
Mista Boo Music 2012
edited by Paul Curreri, with footage shot by Paul Curreri. Special thanks to Jason and Vanessa Lively.
band footage shot by Jacob Canon

New Review from Jaimie Vernon

New Review by Jaimie Vernon: Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers, Love Wounds & Mars

‘“Love Wounds & Mars”
When I first put ‘Love Wounds & Mars’ on I was instantly transported back to smoky nights at Toronto’s Cameron House listening to The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir or Glen Stace or John Bottomley playing their loosely knit acid Folk music with friends of friends of friends in colliding acoustic driven symphonic cacophonies. But when I looked at the package I saw that Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers were from Charlottesville, Virginia. Had the same Appalachian musical migration that turned Ontario’s The Band into 1970s Americana icons done the same for Cameron House alt-Folk two decades later in the Southeastern USA? Unlikely, because Keith & Co. do what they do a lot better. The edges are refined and the melodies are pronounced – hell, there’s even harmony vocals on many of the tunes. The stand out tracks come when the six-piece are in lock step. The Blue Rodeo-like tunes “Nowhere Road”
http://youtu.be/qKJeVYHgiO0
and “Colorado” (with its Neil Diamond “Solitary Man” melody) are uplifting toe tappers. The ensemble is augmented with pedal steel and harmonica on the anthemic “Leora Brown”. And they drive a southern Mexi-Cali Jimmy Buffett summer ditty like “Bordertown” with accordions. The group is also diverse enough in their eclectic sound to bring on a treacle-less melancholy. Jen Morris takes lead vocal duties on the beautiful “Peaceful When You Sleep” and the haunting Dylanesque “Like a Haze” (the best track on the disc http://youtu.be/FC8REACjVTs ) allows Morris to show an uncharacteristically sombre, emotive depth to his vocals. If Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers can’t be Canadian I’m happy that they can play Canadian – better than many Canadian acts in the same style. I’d love to see them on a double bill with Blackie & The Rodeo Kings or The New Pornographers. The band doesn’t include their URL on the CD so here it is: http://www.keith-morris.com’

Like A Haze video

Video for “Like A Haze” off our album “Love Wounds & Mars”.

FAME Review

FAME Review: Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers – Love Wounds & Mars

Love Wounds & Mars
Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange Love Wounds & Mars

by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

Keith Morris pals around with Devon Sproule (here) and Paul Curreri, so when Devon calls Morris “an eccentric Southerner”, she knows whereof she speaks ’cause Paul’s her hubby, and he issued a CD a couple years back (here) that’s rather unique, memorable for its own idiosyncrasies. Thus, once y’all discover the two of them appearing on Love Wounds & Mars and know that Curreri was ambling about in various extraneous whatnots while Jeff Romano put a buncha sparkling co-pro and hi-tech (engineering, mixing, mastering) on the top end, not to mention some cool-ass harmonica and percussion, well sir, that’s kind of an invite to let yer wig loose for a bit, bite into a side order of cynicism, and yank that bottle of rye out’n your coat pocket. Add to this the keening of Tom Proutt’s righteous electric guitar, and we got us a wingding with a lot of RIYL (Recommended If You Like) referents: Neil Young, later Dylan, Paul Mark, Nils Lofgren, later Band, some Leon Russell, and a clutch of roots, folk, and south of the border influences.

However, before Keith gets his chance, lemme mess with you a bit first. In casting around, I found this 2008 video, and it crawled under my skin ’cause the thing’s just so damned backwoods and bitingly retro-modern simultaneously:

…and then there’s this one, from the CD now under the microscope:

Only when you see the first video can you really understand how Love Wounds began and what underwrote it. The transition is rather dramatic, and the disc’s very first song, Nowhere Road, is the exact nexal point. From there, the clash of time travelling modes is evident, a collision that never resolves and shouldn’t, keeping the odd tension that attracted the Sproul/Currerri/Proutt combination. Blind Man then tosses in an Allman Bros./soul swamp sideways combo, largely in Proutt’s slide and inflections atop Morris’ alligators and bougainvillea, and, from there, everyone kinda settles in to hydroplane the byways and hotfoot the sweltering trailer park nights. Hell, there’s even a Graham Parkery cut, Don’t Look Down, that just plain-out rawwwks. When it’s all over, you’ll realize you knew all this stuff all along………but never looked at it that way. That should wake ya up.

Favorite cut? Well, it’s gotta be the closer, Diamond Mask, ’cause the damn thing tears my heart out amid sighs and tears, so, hey, don’t bogart that sweet sweet bottle, bro, pass it on over here. I need to wash away a few memories.

Track List:

  • Nowhere Road
  • Blind Man
  • Leora Brown
  • Bordertown
  • Peaceful When You Sleep
  • Colorado
  • Like a Haze
  • Mexico
  • Don’t Look Down
  • Diamond Mask
All songs written by Keith Morris except
Diamond Mask (Chris Cullhane; add’l lyrics: Keith Morris).

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)