How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With his fourth album as a leader, singer-guitarist Teddy Morgan practically abandons the blues in favor of swamp-rock and country-rock. Though blues purists may be turned off by Morgan's foray into Americana, any fan of roots-rock should love it.
Morgan is a 29-year-old Minneapolis native who relocated to Austin a few years back. On his previous album Louisiana Rain, Morgan dabbled successfully in jump blues, country-blues and blues-rock. Lost Love and Highways offers just one straight-ahead blues track ("A Word About a Woman"), a charming duet with Louisiana legend Lazy Lester. The rest of the CD is dominated by John Fogerty-like swamp rockers ("I Ain’t Waitin’ No More," "Wish You Were Mine" "Should Be Gone") and various country-inflected tunes strongly reminiscent of Steve Earle ("Bullet From A Gun," "59 Cadillac," the title track).
Morgan is an okay singer, a good songwriter and a terrific guitarist. The best tunes here each center around a twangy Spaghetti Western riff that gives way to a fast-rockin’ rhythm and earthy guitar pyrotechnics. The Pistolas (bassist John Penner and drummer Chris Hunter) lend solid support, while Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown) adds expert production, as well as his slide guitar and backup vocals.
Morgan’s songs possess an authentic rock ‘n country sound that’s pleasingly rustic. Lost Love and Highways may not be blues, but it's genuine American music.