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’