Clint Morgan : Troublemaker Review
Clint Morgan is an Olympia, Washington-based singer-pianist who delivers a blues sound with shades of country, gospel, R&B, and rock and roll. Morgan is now bringing that mixture to his third album called Troublemaker. Morgan brings in multiple special guests to round out the album—Kinky Friedman, the McCrary Sisters, Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore, Watermelon Slim, and Jonn Del Toro Richardson. Also, Morgan and co-producer and keyboardist Kevin McKendree built the core band out of Nashville’s finest, including guitarist Doug Lancio, bassist David Santos, drummer Kenneth Blevins, violinist Jimmy Stewart, multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, and background vocalist Wendy Moten.
Beginning with a crunchy guitar-driven riff, “Hangman Woman” is the opening to our journey through Troublemaker. There is a definite Johnny Cash vibe, and Morgan’s singing style fits this bluesy country style well. With wonderful piano and guitar solos, “Hangman Woman” is sure to please avid blues fans. In addition, the female backing vocal harmonies by Moten are a great touch.
Morgan has a nice mix of originals and covers on the album, and of the covers that stand out is the spiritual “Go Down Moses.” Here the band turns in another fine performance and a crafty arrangement. Guesting is the McCrary Sisters, which adds an authentic gospel sound. The ‘Egyptian’ styled backing sounds also add to the ambiance. Morgan’s voice does not have a big resonate sound, but his phrasing is very interesting.
Troublemaker is an enjoyable listen; it is lighthearted. The fourteen songs and one bonus track have multiple high points, and the added richness of the guest artists also adds to the sonic richness. However, some selections are not very memorable, and Troublemaker is a bit heavy on the quirky side. Still, if you like a vocalist that is also an entertainer, you will undoubtedly find more than a couple selections of interest.
July 26, 2021
Lost Cause Records