I never saw anybody smash a banjo before. But neither could I have dreamt of a better description of the drunken punk-country of the Little Morts, or a more fitting moment as their final show spun out of control and crashed in sweat, smiles and tears.
It helps that the Morts aren’t just another band, but friends and a tremendous set of musicians, some who are off to
Irish and proud, Daniel Long is a red-headed growler, not so much a stranger as an friend as he writes of booze, jail, travelin’ and the last moments of reason in a day, the strange, uncomfortable, curious sobriety of a bright noon. Just wonder.
The Little Morts stole from Johnny Cash and Tom Russell and the Stones (and not just songs for their last show), a while back borrowed a guitarist who elevated the performance past great to incredible and begged a lot from their audience (mostly shots of whiskey and Jaegermeister). But they loved a lot too, the tunes, the fans and the stage.
I’ll leave it to someone down the line to write the history of the Little Morts, because they sure as shit ain’t done yet. Bigger stages are waiting out in the Texas night.
But I will say that as I stood in front for their final show, head bobbing in a corduroy cowboy hat, ears open and joyous and mind swimming in a whiskey river, the Little Morts couldn’t have been better. It was a good-bye full of swagger and joy and 20 songs that weren’t nearly enough.