Mike Morgan & The Crawl

Mike Morgan & The Crawl
Stronger Every Day

Severn Records

By Georgetown Fats
December 2008

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Open memo to the promotions department at Severn Records: Lose the picture of Mike Morgan used for the promotional copy of Stronger Every Day.

The photo is forced, and it created notions that added to procrastinating on this review. And when Stronger Every Day finally saw the light of day, the plodding opening track “All Night Long” helped to load the poison pen.

Then track two, “Whereís The Love,” came on, and suddenly everything was right. Morganís smooth tenor voice is reminiscent of the greats from Stax Records - and this from an artist out of Dallas. “Whereís The Love” has that funk-soul feel which belongs on contemporary A/C radio. Morganís jazzy guitar solo is understated, but with plenty of feeling throughout. Clearly Guitar World Magazine poured accolades on Morgan due to talent rather than reputation.

“Sweet Angel” mixes some of the plodding feel of the first track with the 50s rock-ní-roll sound that doesnít feel dated. For those who long for the days of soda jerks and poodle skirts, “Sweet Angel” would be perfect to the soundtrack of your life, provided Severn Records delivers it to the market on a 45 vinyl.

On “Youíre the one (Iíll Miss the Most)” we dive back into the blues rock vibe, and it has a very pedestrian feel. From the sounds of the recording, there are really phenomenal parts involved (the extensive harp line) but it seems to have lost life due to extensive layering.

“Stronger Every Day” is another soul tinged, blues-rock plodding tune. Morganís vocals are exceptional but the listener has the feeling they have heard this time many times before.

On track six, “The Birthday Song,” the band revisits the soda jerk and í57 Chevy feel, and once again it is convincing. It is a shuffle feel over some lyrics about getting older - a fun little romp cover bands should pick up and add to their catalog. It sure beats the Beatlesí birthday tune.

Probably the highlight of the disk has to be track ten. “Okie Dokey Stomp” illuminates what the band does best, with Morganís virtuoso jazzy guitar sound over a standard shuffle feel, it is a toe-tapper destined for a TV score somewhere.

In short, when Mike Morgan & The Crawl are working their 50s blues rock sound, the man and the band shine in this environment, not to mention when they show off their soul roots. The band is best suited for those who own most of the Stax catalog, or those who own DVDs of Grease 1 and Grease II.


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