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I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Word With Gurf Morlix


Nails smacked me around the other day. Too much politics! He's right; we've got months until we have to hash around that stuff, now that we have a nominee.

So, back to the stuff I love best: music.

How fortunate we are to have a brief conversation with the man behind the curtain. Gurf Morlix has produced some of the best records of the last 20 years. Nearly all of Ray Wylie Hubbard, two with Lucinda Williams, his long-time musical partner, and a host of others. His latest record of his own music, "Diamonds to Dust" is an instant classic. A work of a musical genius, still unknown to many. Get to know him:

q. You might be the Godfather of "Americana Music" or at least the Lou Cabrozzi (before sleeping with the fishes). What do you think makes everybody from Dave Alvin to Lucinda Williams seek your production talents for their records?

I'VE BEEN REALLY LUCKY TO WORK WITH SOME OF THE BEST SONGWRITERS IN THE BUSINESS. IT STARTED WITH LUCINDA. SINCE THEN I'VE HAD THE AMAZING LUXURY OF BEING ABLE TO PICK ONLY THE PROJECTS I REALL WANT TO WORK ON - THE ONES I CAN COMPLETELY RELATE TO, AND THEREFORE DIG IN DEEP. EVEN WHEN I WAS SCUFFLING, I TURNED DOWN A LOT OF WORK. I'M INTERESTED IN MAKING GREAT ALBUMS. ART, HOPEFULLY.

q. Is there a Gurf Morlix "sound"?

I THINK IT HAS MORE TO DO WITH ARRANGING THAN ANY PARTICULAR "SOUND". I LIKE TO HEAR SOME SPACE MIXED IN WITH THE NOTES.

q. You report from the continent. How are things overseas different from Texas in your way of thinking?

YOU ASSUME THAT I'M ON THE CONTINENT, YET THAT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED.

I DO FIND THAT THE ART GOES DEEPER IN EUROPE THAN IT DOES IN THE STATES. MAYBE BECAUSE IT'S SO MUCH OLDER THERE, BUT THEY SEEM TO HAVE A HEAVIER APPRECIATION THERE.

q. Is there such a thing as "Texas Music"?

THE TEXAS SONGWRITERS ARE DEFINITELY A DIFFERENT BREED THAN THOSE IN THE REST OF THE WORLD. IT'S KIND OF LIKE THE DEPTH OF ART APPRECIATION IN EUROPE. I THINK THE ROOTS GO VERY DEEP IN TEXAS AS WELL.

q. CD sales accross the board are down in the last decade or so. To you, what does the future hold for the music industry?

NOBODY REALLY KNOWS, AND IT'S ALL CHANGING REALLY FAST. 20 YEAR OLDS AREN'T BUYING CDS, SO I GUESS THAT'S GONNA GRADUALLY GO AWAY. I'M SURE MOST OF THE RECORD COMPANIES, ESPECIALLY THE INDIES, MUST BE LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDER FOR THE DUST CLOUD OF DOOM. THE MAJORS WILL PROBABLY SURVIVE BY CO-OPTING SOME OTHER KIND OF BUSINESS. I THINK THEY'RE TOO BIG TO JUST GO AWAY.

q. Not that you are a fossil or something, but does the generation coming up in music have the same level of talent and creativity as those who have come before?

THE YOUNGER SONGWRITERS ARE TRYING, AND THERE WILL BE SOME GREAT ONES. I DO THINK THAT THERE WILL BE LESS AND LESS OF THE KIND OF MUSIC I LIKE, BUT IT WILL SURVIVE.

q. On "Daimonds to Dust" you seem to hint at something apocryphal, from God on Our Side to Worth Dyin' For. Is there a God, and is there anything worth dying for?

NOBODY REALLY KNOWS THE ANSWER TO THAT. THERE ARE THINGS WORTH DYIN' FOR - TRUTH, LOVE, WORK, FRIENDS, FAMILY....PASSION....ART

Mr. Morlix, I think you are entirely too special and complicated a person to capture in a few questions, but I sure am grateful for your time, and wish you the best.

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