Saturday, July 19, 2008

This band could kick your ass

(At least that's what the Little Morts promise in their caption for this photo. And I don't doubt it.)

It's been a while since I checked in on my rowdy friends, who skipped outta Tucson a couple years back for Austin, saying that blues guys make their deal with the devil down at the crossroads, but country bands head to the neon of a hot Texas night to trade in their souls.

The boys are still rockin' their own brand of heavily amplified twang and ass-kicking grooves. And what's more they're back recording again.

I filed this report right after their final Tucson show, a boozy and excellent chaotic mess that'll be hard to forget for quite some time:
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.

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.

So raise a drink to the Little Morts and enjoy these tunes.

The Little Morts - Sober
The Little Morts - Girl Next Door
The Little Morts - Live at Studio 2A KXCI whole show as a zip file

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