Christmas Eve means Day 24 of 31 Days of Music and that would be Number 8 on my best of 2013 list. Sitting at Number 8 is Athens, GA’s T Hardy Morris with his debut album Audition Tapes.
Morris is known as the front man that wails out the vocals over the ear deafening music of fan favorites Dead Confederate. Stepping away from the fuzz filled chunky guitar driven music, Morris has shown a different side with a mellowed out sound driven by his lyrics and an unobtrusive country twang.
Audition Tapes is anything but as Morris shows how talented a wordsmith he actually is. The album kicks off with a dark tune about a person that is down on his luck, pretty much his whole life. “Lucky” floats along mellow guitars infused with pedal steel that gives the tune that something extra. The title track, “Audition Tapes”, is a somber look at learning life lessons loaded with sparse guitars and haunting melodies. Some of the Dead Confederate fuzziness rears its head on “Share The Needle” and when it is paired with the pedal steel twang it really takes off. Best showing off Morris’ talents has to be the song “Disaster Proof”. This track traverses through a guitar wonder land weaving in and out of Morris’ vocals before ending in an ear pleasing guitar solo that is just bad ass.
Audition Tapes is a nice departure from the balls to the wall rock folks are used to from Dead Confederate. Morris shows listeners he is more than a front man from a rock band. Lyrically the songs are all a bit dark and brooding while sonically they offer up layers from haunting to sludgy that remind me of John Frusciante’s solo material. T. Hardy Morris may not be a household name but his music is something you should introduce yourself to.
31 Days of Music: Best of 2013
31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live
29 - Teen Getaway - Hits and Missives
28 - Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
27 - Robert Pollard - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
26 - Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
25 - Je Suis France - Coleslaw III Drymouth
24 - Dorado - Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death
23 - Ezra Furman - Day of the Dog
22 - Hymn For Her - Lucy & Wayne's Smokin' Hot Flames
21 - Patrick Sweany - Close To The Floor
20 - Tedo Stone - Good Go Bad
19 - Chandler Travis Three-O - This Is What Bears Look Like Under Water
18 - Devon Allman - Turquoise
17 - Kick The Robot - Music To Fight The Future
16 - Sebadoh - Defend Yourself
15 - Escondido - The Ghost of Escondido
14 - Doc Feldman & the LD50 - Sundowning at the Station
13 - Porter & the Pollies - Self Titled EP
12 - Drivin' n' Cryin' - Songs From The Psychedelic Time Clock
11 - Deathfix - Self-Titled
10 - Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues
09 - Have Gun, Will Travel - Fact, Fiction or Folklore
08 - T. Hardy Morris - Audition Tapes