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Mike Morgan & the Crawl - Stronger Every Day
Severn Records

Run Time: 67:25

Mike Morgan has been touring around Texas since 1990 blending all of his influence of Texas Blues, classic R&B, and even a hint of the Chicago sound. Morgan originally began playing blues exclusively after hearing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s worldwide debut Texas Flood in 1985. Immediately some folks through up their hands, but I say wait! He’s not another clone folks. Legendary harmonica player and vocalist Darrell Nulisch took him under his wing and went out on tour with him for a few years and gave him a dose of all types of blues, eventually veering Morgan to strike out on his own with Kansas City native and R&B crooner Lee McBee. He and McBee toured together which eventually led to McBee striking out on his own and leaving Morgan to do his first lead vocal work.

This disc sees Morgan and McBee reunite and another special guest in the form of roots music newcomer Randy McAllister. Morgan finds himself going back to the R&B formula on three-quarters of the disc. McBee croons and soars over the Jimmie Vaughan-esque guitar attack on the blues ballad of “Sweet Angel.” Morgan demonstrates some prowess on vocals and harmonica on “You’re the One (I’ll Miss the Most).” Randy McAllister trades in his roots rock for straight ahead classic R&B on the plea to the world in “Where’s the Love.”

Morgan takes off the writer’s hat on only one song on this set, demonstrating his depth as an artist and his abilities as a guitar player. He turns in a Fabulous Thunderbirds reading of Gatemouth Brown’s “Okie Dokie Stomp.” Speaking of depth of guitar playing, “Stomp” is no phone-in on guitar! Also, check out the jumpy Freddie King-like funk on the instrumental “Funky Thang.”

Some of the tracks towards the middle of the disc stretch on to over six minutes, kind of slowing down the vibe a bit. If the song structure were tightened and shortened a bit, leaving the more classic R&B feel to the songs wouldn’t seem so much of a stretch here. Morgan himself also overreaches his bounds vocally on the first track to the disc “All Night Long” which might make some folks shake their heads. Besides these two criticisms, the disc is something different with a little classic R&B mixed with Texas Blues.

Visit Mike on the web at Severn Records website or at his management’s website: His CD is available at all major record outlets.

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

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