Sam Morrow

First Fleet Concerts Presents:

Sam Morrow

Hannah Aldridge

Mon, September 24, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Vaudeville Mews

Des Moines, IA

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Sam Morrow
Sam Morrow
With his career-defining third record, Morrow should cement his place as a member of Los Angeles' country elite. Concrete and Mud is a confident album, rooted in Texas twang, southern stomp, and old-school funky-tonk. Recorded largely live in the studio on a vintage Neve 8068 console with producer/engineer Eric Corne at the helm, it also shines a light on Morrow's strength as a songwriter, front-man, and bandleader. At 27 years old, the Houston, TX native found his footing as an artist and appears poised to join the ranks of West Coast heavyweights like Sam Outlaw, Jade Jackson, and Morrow's friend and label mate, Jaime Wyatt, whose vocals can be heard on three songs here.

Musically, this is Sam Morrow at his electrified, energetic peak. The sad-eyed sounds of Ephemeral and its 2015 follow-up, There Is No Map — both written during the early years of Morrow's sobriety — have been replaced by something more representative of Morrow's live show, in which he fronts a band of plugged-in roots-rockers. Accordingly, Concrete and Mud doubles down on a blend of countrified funk and guitar-fueled southern rock, shot through with train beats, Telecaster twang, bluesy slide guitar, swirling organ, with Morrow's big, booming voice front and center. There's balance, too. For every swaggering country rocker like "Heartbreak Man" or "Good Ole Days," there's a gorgeous, emotional punch to the gut like "San Fernando Sunshine" or "The Weight of A Stone."

"Paid by the Mile" is full of 70s-worthy stomp and Southern swagger. "Quick Fix" is an infectious hook laden stew of syncopated beats with bubbling clavinet, slinky guitars and doubled vocals. Morrow croons one minute and growls the next with a sly nod to his influences while staking out new territory. From Lynyrd Skynyrd-friendly rockers like "Heartbreak Man" to the Little Feat-worthy grooves of "Cigarettes," Concrete and Mud boldly explores a wide range of styles and sounds.

There's also an undercurrent of classic country running throughout the mix. On "Skinny Elvis," Morrow sings with his longtime friend and frequent tour mate Jamie Wyatt, resulting in a throwback duet worthy of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris' "Ooh Las Vegas." [Jay Dee Maness, who performed alongside Parsons during the recording sessions for the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, plays pedal steel on the track.] Elsewhere, Morrow evokes Billy Joe Shaver's "Georgia on a Fast Train" with the sly yet cutting "Good Ole Days", proving you can take the man out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the man.

Like his previous albums, Concrete and Mud was produced by songwriting partner Eric Corne, with Morrow playing a more active role in the recording process. The two took an experimental approach. Wurlitzers were run through phaser pedals. Farfisa organs were recorded through revolving Leslie speaker cabinets. Songs like "Cigarettes" were reinforced with throbbing mini-moog synth, while murder ballads like "Weight of a Stone" were laced with looping percussion and timpani flourishes. On "Paid by the Mile," Morrow and his band-mates kept the tape running during the song's final moments, stretching their legs during a long, loose jam session before segueing into the ceremonious intro of "San Fernando Sunshine." The result is the most adventurous album of Morrow's career, and his third release for Corne's label, Forty Below Records.

Concrete and Mud comes to a close with "Mississippi River," whose mix of acoustic guitars, fiddle, dobro, mandolin and upright bass ends the album on a rootsy note. It's a move that pays tribute to Morrow's past, drawing a line between the moodier, gorgeous songs on his previous albums and the hard-hitting, infectious grooves of his current work.

"It's about the fabric of America, and how the Mississippi is a metaphor for what binds very different people together," says Morrow, whose album builds a similar bridge between opposing camps: country and rock & roll; the West Coast and the American South, concrete and mud. "The sentiment is," he adds, "the things that unite us are stronger than the forces that divide us.
Hannah Aldridge
Hannah Aldridge
In literature and in songwriting, the American South is where writers go to face their fears. Hannah Aldridge doesn’t just dip her pen into the well of the South, the Muscle Shoals native embodies it. With every song, she’s facing down demons of a life once lived from substance abuse to failed relationships and scars from the lashes of the bible belt.

“Gold Rush” is Hannah Aldridge’s second album, a follow up to her 2014 debut “Razor Wire.” While that album launched her career, drew the attention of music writers and sent her touring across the world, “Gold Rush” shows a more mature and introspective artist with more life experience -- and music experience -- under her belt.

The honesty Hannah Aldridge crafts into each track is off-set by her stubborn, maybe defiant, nature, which gives her music a hopeful silver lining.

“I start writing with ‘this is how I’m feeling and I need to talk about it.’ Doing that helps me sort out my own thoughts on it. My music is an introspective look at the things that happened in my life. It’s me trying to sort through and put feelings into words,” she said.

Hannah Aldridge is the daughter of Muscle Shoals legend Walt Aldridge. An Alabama Music Hall of Famer, Walt Aldridge is a prolific and decorated songwriter of countless Number One and Top Ten hits recorded by the likes of Lou Reed, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Earl Thomas Conley, Ricky Van Shelton, Ronnie Milsap, and Conway Twitty.

Mixing her personal life and the sounds of her hometown, Hannah Aldridge’s new album also draws in influences from across the rock genre. Working with people with one foot in country music and one foot in rock, Hannah Aldridge makes a fresh kind of Southern Rock styled by Southern Gothic storytelling.

Recorded at Creative Workshop in Nashville, Hannah Aldridge worked with Muscle Shoals writers such as Mark Narramore, Tosha Hill, Matt Johnson and Brad Crisler and artists such as Andrew Combs, Ashley McBryde, Don Gallardo, Ryan Beaver, and Sadler Vaden on “Gold Rush.” She teamed up with Jordan Dean and M. Allen Parker, who were instrumental in working on her new album, and finally finishing by calling on her Dad, Walt Aldridge, to master the record. In total, Hannah Aldridge compiled a team of distinct talents to work with her. With their help, Hannah Aldridge has put together a progressive, creative and memorable body of work.

“It’s about being self destructive,” Aldridge said of her new album. “That is the underlying tone. The album goes back to when I was younger, and after touching on that, to now. In ‘Aftermath,’ the very first line is: ‘I was born in a crossfire.’ It starts from day one.”
Venue Information:
Vaudeville Mews
212 4th Street
Des Moines, IA, 50309
http://www.vaudevillemews.com/