With Nashville pushing Walmartized bro-country, this brand of tough and tight, loose and loud outlaw honky tonk is a breath of fresh motor oil, sweat, and grease.
Because some bands just canâ€™t be contained or content in a studio, Whitey Morgan and the 78â€™s sound best where they are most at home… on stage. They are in a bare-knuckle brawl for the soul of a cherished music form every night their boots hit the boards. In the case of Born, Raised and LIVE from Flint (Recorded live on November 25, 2011), that stage is their home turf of The Machine Shop, 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, Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels (Small Stone Records, 2008), and their self-titled Bloodshot Records debut (2010), plus three previously unrecorded songs, Whitey andÂ the boys lay â€˜em all out in the heat of the stage and in front of a crowd thirsty, really thirsty, for a good time. Itâ€™s Flint, a town not unfamiliar with hard times, but it could be anywhere.
Kicking off with the hometown shout out, â€œBuick City Blues,â€ WM78â€™s keep it loud and proud, a wall of Waylon played to be heard over theÂ sounds of the stamping plant. Drinking, cheating, fighting, and drinkingÂ …Â pretty much all the bases are covered.
Whiteyâ€™s originals are interspersed with in-the-pocket covers of Johnny Paycheckâ€™s, â€œCocaine Train,â€ Johnny Cashâ€™s, â€œBad News,â€ and aÂ surprisingly affecting version of The Bossâ€™s, â€œIâ€™m On Fire.â€ Rounding it all out is the Dale Watsonpenned true-story ode to genius songwriter and handgun enthusiast Billy Joe Shaver, asking the age-old rumble-in-the-parking lot question, â€œWhere Do You Want It?â€
Like a high and tight fastball, Whitey Morgan and the 78s stand you up straight and get your attention on Born, Raised & LIVE from Flint. Itâ€™s aÂ sound as hard-hitting as it is hard-headed. Flintâ€™s been down, but it ainâ€™t out. Same goes for classic outlaw country.
The only thing better then seeing Whitey Morgan, theÂ honky-tonk alter ego of Eric David Allen, playing in his home town of Flint is listening to this recording of him playing in his home town of Flint. Whitey is the real deal and this album is physical proof of such.