Gurf Morlix isn't hugely well-known. He's not exactly a household name, but his career as both instrumentalist and producer has distinguished him among industry insiders. Now on his latest solo album, Last Exit to Happyland, he distinguishes himself further as a singer-songwriter. Of course it doesn't hurt that he's joined by Ruthie Foster and Patty Griffin, whose contributions mark some of the best songs on the disc.
Highlights and Guest Appearances
After eleven years backing Lucinda Williams
, it's no wonder that Gurf Morlix walked away a supreme songwriter. There are certainly ghosts of Williams' influence on this record, and you can almost hear how ably she would attack songs like "Drums From New Orleans." Instead, Morlix is joined on that tune by the extraordinary vocal prowess of Ruthie Foster
"Music You Mighta Made" is a nice easy, tongue-in-cheek Randy Newman-esque tune that stands up as one of the finest on the disc, especially when it gives way to Morlix's easy-flowing guitar solos. Another shining moment is his collaboration with Patty Griffin on "She's a River"—easily the disc's finest love song. It's the disc closer, "Voice of Midnight," that seals the whole thing sweetly. With only Morlix and Griffin and a single acoustic guitar, it's the most haunting moment on the album. If there is a "last exit to happyland," this tune drove right past it went straight to the land of unrequited love.