If you “Can’t See Nothing Good” then you need to check out Sky King and their debut disc Morose Tales From The Left Coast. This 13-track work is the work of a talented trio consisting of Walter Morosko (lead vocals and guitar), producer Larry “Fuzzy” Knight (bass) and Garth Farkas (rhythm guitar). To flesh out the fantasy they are backed by Chris Rose (drums and percussion), John “JT” Thomas (keys), Lee Thornberg (trumpet and trombone) and Jimmy “Z” (sax, flute and harmonica).
The album opens on “Poor House”. It’s a track that leads off with a bit of blues but rocks as things progress. It’s one of the few tracks here that is not purely a Morosko-Knight number as it includes lyrics by Rex Martin. It’s vaguely reminiscent of Free.
“Inside Out” comes in next. It’s basically a funky flashback of sorts that makes good use of the guest brass. You can dance to it, too. At this point it becomes obvious these artists are in California as they move into the jazzy “Hollywood” which seems to have a bit of Steely Dan in it.
We know the routine—chasing your dreams, following your star, everything that glitters isn’t gold but the music makes it work so it still works. Besides, it’s balanced out with “Can’t See Nothing Good” which gives you an idea of what really happens to some of those dream-chasers. California cuts continue on “Oxnard/Cahuenga” that initially brings it down a notch and maintains its own musical identity while providing the fairy tale with even more hardcore reality.
“Blue Skies” has an Allman Brothers aspect to it with all the guitar work. The flute, however, makes it work as an original. It’s appropriately light and airy and brings things back up again after the previous work.
The seventh selection is “Waitin’ For My Baby”. It’s gritty blues rock that would probably be even better live. It features lyrics by Martin.
“Living The Blues” is a bit expected but the band plays it to own and enjoy it so that makes all the difference. “Forever" follows and features a Latin-like beat and Wynne Paris on sarod which gives it its own identity. “Get Along Lost Girl” moves in with some pop-tinged blues rock in this do it or lose it anthem.
“I’m Gone” features David Jackson with some noteworthy Cajun accordion on a cut that includes what might be called a bit of Brit blues rock. It’s one of those dark, dingy dive ditties that is sure to become a fan favorite. “Late Night Phone Call” musically recalls that unsettling feeling of impending doom.
The closing cut, “Alone”, is an apt album end-note that perfectly reflects the –morose tale told throughout the playlist. Still, the message is perhaps honest but not overdone but when the closing cut closes we are all indeed left alone. Check out Sky King’s Morose Tales From The Left Coast. If you start to dig it don’t worry. You’re not “Alone”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.