Hearsay: Wednesday, September 10, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Heathers

HearSay took in a Heather Morgan gig at the Moon last week, and your writer will go on the record as saying that itís pretty much impossible to watch/listen to her perform solo acoustic and not find her endearing. Sheís a diminutive blonde with a bomb blast of a voice and a strong if imperfect facility for handling her instrument. (While picking, she would inadvertently mute some of the notes; her tiny little fingers unable to grip the shit out of those strings. Very ó and HearSay hates to say this but ó cute.) But her fragility, her plain vulnerability, isnít the best part ó itís the heartwarming way in which she interacts with and plays off her audience that HearSay bets could melt even the stoniest soul. Last week, she sang and strummed to a crowd whose gal-to-guy ratio, incidentally, was about 6:1 (fucking-A is right) and whose hearts certainly belonged to Morgan. I guess what HearSayís trying to say is that a lot of Morganís friends were in the audience, and this likely accounted for the singerís relaxed on-stage attitude and, more importantly, her brio. She looked and played as if she really wanted to blow her homies away. Everybody there was pretty much thankful she did. And she did.

If you recall correctly, HearSay blasted ó in your writerís most kind, fair, and sober voice ó Morgan for her full-length, Six Strings & Slow Backroads. Couched in Nashvegas sonics precious enough to make a diamond look like navel lint, most of the songs came off as innocuous, red-state, cookie-cutter tripe. The kind of stuff the Wolf plays at drive-time when all the stay-at-home moms are leafing through Southern Living on the couch while the hired helpers are clanging pots and pans together in the kitchen. Just flat-out sincere, without a trace of knowingness or irony, and full of the type of lurid lyrics you could imagine would appeal to, I dunno, TCU co-eds raised on Shania and Faith. The bottom line is that the disc was so well-done and so finely produced and so precisely arranged that it was bereft of humanity. And we all know that without humanity your music is essentially a bunch of soulless sound waves. Not good.

The thing that especially blew HearSay away last week was how different, in a gritty way, Morganís songs sounded in their simplest forms (on acoustic, you know). Your writer noticed their movements ó from hard to soft, then back to hard again ó and also their rockish textures. (One of the best songs of the evening was a bluesy vamp Morgan said she had just written.) Holy shit, HearSay said to itself, this galís credible ó maybe the performer on Six Strings was somebody else? (Maybe?)

Granted, sometimes when HearSay goes to listen to bands, the margaritas and Miller Lites do a lot of the note-taking. Still, thereís no way your writer was so liquid that the buzz lasted all week and until column-writing time. The sensation that Morgan was something else still lingers. It probably will for awhile.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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