Attention, fans of Sturgill Simpson: Buy stock in Whitey Morgan. It’s going cheap for now, but not for long.— Grantland
Outlaw's always been the rough-around-the-edges, tuff guy uncle at the country music family picnic. Denim and leather, not Stetson and Nudie. Hair by Pennzoil, not Pomade. But, in the right hands--Haggard, Paycheck, Junior, Willie and Waylon and now Whitey Morgan--Outlaw is more than beards and bandanas, ink and attitude, it's goddamn folk music. It's about doing the best you can, about getting by and about cold beer and colder women--everything that keeps the honky tonks full on a Saturday night. It's about standing up when it'd just be easier to fall down.
With the Nashville establishment complacently riding a walmartized wave of bro-country, Whitey Morgan & 78s’ brand of tough and tight, loose and loud outlaw honky tonk is a breath of fresh motor oil, sweat, and grease. They are in bare-knuckle brawl for the soul of a cherished music form every night their boots hit the boards.
And because some bands just can’t be contained or content in a studio, WM78’s sound best where they are most at home: on stage. In the case of Born, Raised & LIVE from Flint, that stage is their home turf of The Machine Shop, Flint MI, where the beards and whiskey come right at you through the speakers, where you can feel the muscle behind the hustle.
Pulling favorites from their first two albums, including their self-titled Bloodshot debut (2010), plus three previously unrecorded songs, Whitey & the boys lay ‘em all out in the heat of the stage and in front of a crowd thirsty, really thirsty, for a good time. It’s Flint, a town not unfamiliar with hard times, but it could be anywhere.
Kicking off with the hometown shout out “Buick City Blues,” WM78’s keep it loud and proud, a wall of Waylon played to be heard over the sounds of the stamping plant. Drinking, cheating, fighting, and drinking - all the bases are covered.
Whitey’s originals are interspersed with in-the-pocket covers of Johnny Paycheck’s “Cocaine Train,” Johnny Cash’s “Bad News,” and a surprisingly affecting version of The Boss’s “I’m On Fire.” Rounding it all out is the Dale Watson-penned true-story ode to genius songwriter and handgun enthusiast Billy Joe Shaver, asking the age-old rumble-in-the-parking lot question: “Where Do You Want It?”
Like a high and tight fastball, Whitey Morgan & the 78s stand you up straight and get your attention on Born, Raise & LIVE from Flint. It’s a sound as hard-hitting as it is hard-headed. Flint’s been down, but it ain’t out. Same goes for classic outlaw country.
Whitey Morgan and the 78's are a Honky Tonk band from Flint, Michigan. They haven't re-invented the wheel. They just picked it up and got it rolling all over again.
In Flint, the always forgotten civic little brother to Motown but no less a hard town with empty factories and emptier prospects, loaded Whitey Morgan & the 78’s with that survivors’ f.u. mentality. It's a place that'll have you musing "you know, Detroit's not so bad off..."
Whitey sings songs these people can relate to. In much the same way his grandfather and mentor did over 3 decades ago, to a whole generation of southern transplants who came up US-23 to Flint looking for the good life. Whitey sings it straight, with an urgency that'll help people forget their problems for a few hours and serve as the guideline for drinking the sorrows away. The halftime groove brings out everyone's dancing shoes and while Whitey and the 78's play, the world is a tiny bit better place.
Since the release of their first album Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels, Whitey and the band have revived a forgotten genre with a fierce dedication and determination. They've toured the country spreading their sound and real deal vibe everywhere they go. They play honky-tonk tunes in any club in any town without apology and with a purpose. Look out, this bad news sounds real good.
For about 200 shows a year you can count on Whitey Morgan and the 78's to deliver. Whitey's whiskey tinged vocals, the 78's boot stomping beats, all stirring up dance floors and elevating spirits. In this world, there isn't a person who couldn't use this kinda release every now and again.
Official Website: Whitey Morgan and the 78's Online