Audition Tapes

T. Hardy Morris

Audition Tapes

Dead Confederate co-founder T. Hardy Morris wanders down the Americana path for this 10-track solo album, which is helped along by the talents of Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez, The Black Lips’ Ian Saint Pe, and pedal steel guitarist Matt Stossel. Stossel, in particular, influences Morris’ approach on several key tracks, including the title song, as his swooping pedal steel adds to the Americana feel of a good half of the album. The psychedelic strains of Morris’ day-job group still come filtering through in the Neil Young–type wasted blast of “OK Corral” and the spirited upbeat wall of guitars for “Disaster Proof.” But mostly there’s a western theme (seen in the slow-loping beauty of “Lucky”), a sense of midnight mourning to “History’s Hoax," and a spare, lonesome vibe to the closer, “Own Worst Enemy.” The production keeps the loose ends in the mix, but it’s hard to believe it was just random luck that brought out the telepathic musical communication in “Beauty Rest,” a song that sounds as if Morris had been playing it for half of his life.

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