video by Lance Smith, Bottle Tree Films
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.
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
‘“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”
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’
Video for “Like A Haze” off our album “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
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.
|All songs written by Keith Morris except
Diamond Mask (Chris Cullhane; add’l lyrics: Keith Morris).
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Our new cd, ‘love wounds & mars,’ is now available on CDBaby, Itunes, and Amazon. The website has been updated, and you can listen to, and read about, the album there. We’ve made some videos that I’ll start rolling out tomorrow. ‘love wounds & mars’ is a document of the years and a true reflection of experience–some good days, some pretty rough.
I’m excited for you all to hear the songs. They’re quite good, if I dare say so myself, and the band is absolutely kicking. Actually, the record’s a showcase of some of my favorite Charlottesville musicians: Stuart Gunter, Bud Bryant, Tom Proutt, and Jen Morris make up the Crooked Numbers, and we’re joined on various songs by Morwenna Lasko, Charlie Bell, Aaron Evans, Matty Metcalfe, Doug Wanamaker, Wells Hanley, Jeff Romano, Paul Curreri, and Devon Sproule. The gospel choir assembled is made up of Jen, Richelle Claiborne, and the amazing Davina and Davita Jackson. Like I said, I’m very excited for folks to hear the record.
You can read what No Depression. says about ‘love wounds & mars’
What a couple of my songwriting compadres say:
Finely conceived and fully realized…a sonic landscape…a bordertown of the mind…slash lines smart like Dylan…the core at the center is this Keith Morris character: every song, he defines himself, how he deals with his world, views it, beats it, and is beaten by it.
On his first release, Songs From Candyapolis, he wanted to confound the critics, and he did. This new CD, “love wounds & mars,” is like a top-of-the-line classic album from the early 70’s, each song “belongs” as a part of the whole. The songs, the lyrics, are smart when you get around to it, but again it’s the sound, the instrumentation, the background vocals. Morris has made an album that makes the old new again without sacrificing anything at any altar. I get the idea he made exactly the CD he wanted to. Just like he did with the first one.
–Tom House, Singer/Songwriter
The first impression of a sonically sturdy jam session — sometimes a bash, sometimes a collective bashing — is completely satisfying. But Love Wounds unfolds to reveal a woven gut of lonely characters, angry towns, toll roads leading to highways that stretch out. It’s an album you listen to by yourself, a soundtrack for making your big plans to break the fuck free.”
— Paul Curreri, Singer/Songwriter
“…..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.”
“….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.
No shows booked at the moment.
- The Dirty Gospel and Love Wounds & Mars are now on Spotify!
- “Incredible album! Without a doubt, one of the best albums I have heard in a long time.”
- “After tragedy, Crooked Numbers’ Keith Morris finds solace in his writing…”
- The Dirty Gospel review, Mark S Tucker, FAME
- No Depression reviews The Dirty Gospel