The Dirty Gospel // Album Press
Included on “Best Albums of 2015” lists in No Depression & Atlanta Journal Constitution
[The Dirty Gospel is] one of my top album picks of the year…. Morris is a monster of a songwriter…. Who else could put together an album so personal and yet so universal?
Keith Morris is back, and his sound's a good deal bigger this time, right from the first cut's kick-in ("Psychopaths & Sycophants"), much mindful of the Move's "Feel Too Good", Manfred Mann's take on Dylan's "Get Your Rocks Off", and Happy Monday's rave-up on John Kongos' "Tokoloshe Man" (if'n yew, pilgrim, ain't heard them thar brain-burning toonz, then yer waaaay behind!), pregnant with a groove so insistent it puts a new unholy lurch in the brontosaurus stomp.
That doesn't mean he's lost an ounce of that Lawsiana back porch soul, though, as "Pale Moon Rising" well evidences. The titles alone tell ya whatcher in fer: "Dopesick Blues", "Prejudiced & Blind", "Devil's Stew", etc., a potpourri of Woodstock Nation cynicism, cheek, 'n down and dirty honesty. Then there's the righteously wailing choir quartet and tear-the-frets off musicians, who do their damned level best to put the stink on the stank on the stunk, wallowing in gutbucket rock 'n roll that'll have ya starry-eyed and yellin'. Yep, 'rock' is most assuredly a lapidarian term and thus fits this rough 'n cool bitchin' lil' ol' gem to a 'T'. Have a fifth of something potent to hand when you tear the shrink-wrap off and toss the disc in the player.
--Mark S. Tucker // music reviewer
If the heavens opened and rained music down upon us, I am certain it would sound exactly like Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers’ new album, The Dirty Gospel….. Without a doubt, one of the best albums I have heard in a long time.
--Bobby Gottesman // I Can’t Believe My Earz (Online Magazine)
On ‘The Dirty Gospel,’ Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers reach a Chambers Brothers level of soul and grit while presenting the most creative and impactful use of an 80’s-era Dylan sonic influence that I’ve ever heard. Lyrically, Morris isn’t pussyfooting around either. These are very strong songs.
--Andy Friedman // Illustrator, New Yorker Cartoonist & Singer/Songwriter
Gritty, heartfelt rock ‘n’ roll meets gut-spilling soul on Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers’ new album, The Dirty Gospel. Written during a period of mourning, the songs are personal, accessible and emotionally charged.
Keith Morris is one hell of a songwriter....Morris’s slightly gritty voice is backed by a stunning choir. The two come together in a magical way....
--Mark J. Smith // Elmore Magazine
Petty and Dylan are obvious influences here. Morris has wedded those influences pretty seamlessly to a broad-stroked gospel insistence fashioned of and from the world he sees around him. Maybe it's not, when all is said and done, the world he lives in, but his home isnt in the sky either. What he takes from Gospel is homelessness and the yearning that attends it, but the insistence on ugly truths comes from the place he has to lay his head. That insistence, that gospel, is both musical and lyrical, and while it has a glorious and strident sound--the sound of exaltation, or the Jackson sisters, which is near enough the same--it isn't Church Gospel so much as it is the gospel of the St. James Hotel or St. James Infirmary. That's the milieu, and Morris kicks against the pricks with the best of them. The songs and the ensemble are fashioned to make him the preacher that gives voice to those truths before a choir assembled to bear witness. And if Morris's vocal presence and delivery sometimes conjures Chuck Prophet, with whom he shares influences, affinities, and the doubled perspective of a native stranger, here that makes him more an uncertain Jeremiah than a Daniel, looking as much for an elusively perfect drummer as for judgment or mercy, and maybe not expecting to find any of them. Maybe he'll get lucky. Maybe we all will.