Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Whitey Morgan and the 78s -- Born, Raised & LIVE From Flint

There's nothing like Thanksgiving to get you to interact with the older, out-of-touch generation. In this case, it was one of my oldest friend's dad. He enjoys drawing people out into vigorous debate by attacking the ideologies they hold dear -- he says it's to help broaden people's perspectives. I say it's a good way to make me not want to go over there anymore. Anyway, his favorite line is that as a white woman teaching in the Bronx, I'm slowly but surely pushing my students to "join" the more "modern," middle class "culture" and leaving their "less complex" black and Latino cultures behind. The "conversation" ended with him saying, "You can't have self-respect and live any other lifestyle than that of the bourgeoisie."

I bring all of that up to contrast with Whitey Morgan's latest release, Born, Raised & LIVE From Flint.

It is very much a paean to the working class. I don't know if people with self-respect get thrown out of bars, cheat on their partners, or shoot people in the face when they get pissed off, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun (the drinking and whoring, not the getting shot.) I'm not familiar at all with Whitey Morgan and the 78s but this album feels like a great introduction. Each song is sharp and sounds fresh. Playing on their home turf to an appreciative crowd, the band sounds like they were born playing together but keep it loose enough to let everyone shine. You can feel the band's pride in their work -- and there's a lot to be proud of. The cover photo pretty much says it all.

If you like songs about rough-hewn guys with chips on their shoulders, but love music that sounds like bourbon (that's what I think of when you throw a pedal steel in there) then you've found your new favorite band. These are stories about complex people in complex situations, no matter what a snooty one-percent-er might have to say.

Whitey Morgan -- Official, Facebook, Official page on Bloodshot Records, Purchase from Bloodshot

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