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Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers - The Dirty Gospel


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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Not to be confused with the Black Flag/Circle Jerks punk kingpin of the same name, this Keith Morris is an Americana artist and he kicks off this effort with the bluesy swagger of "Psychopaths and Sycophants," a tune that also takes on an aura of the "dirty gospel" referred to in the album title thanks to cooing, church choir-like background vocals from female members of the Crooked Numbers. The ladies also take the spotlight at the beginning of "Pale Moon," ominously singing "There's a pale moon risin"" before Morris jumps in and rides the vocal riff across the night sky, over quavering organ fills and between brief but incisive electric guitar solos. Most of The Dirty Gospel is rocked-up southern soul, upbeat in tenor even though Morris' voice often evokes an image of a man on the edge of giving up, with all the gospel-esque background vocals representing the other side of the coin --- redemption. Regardless, from the cautionary and appropriately woozy "Dopesick Blues" to the funky throw down of "Brownsville Market," this is a very solid effort that should up the band's standing considerably.

Keith Morris & the Crooked Numbers - The Dirty Gospel
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