Morgan's lyrics make the album a kind of rock 'n' roll retrospective. The opening number, "Chilly Willy Is Missing," honors local Ann Arbor street musicians, while "I Stole Everything" gives a nod to classic rock icons like Hendrix, James Brown, and James Jamerson. He sings about the rough side of band touring in "Nightliner" "Ain't seen a laundry in twenty-one days" and refers to the music as "three chords and a cloud of dust."
Onstage, Morgan looks a little like the elder Van Morrison, with his shortish stature and soft black tam. But when the music starts, he's all rough-and-ready power, still screaming and throwing down like a teenager. He gives you permission to bang your head, let your hair fly, and play air guitar. Scott Morgan hasn't grown too old to put on a heart-pounding, sternum-thrumming late-night show, and you haven't grown too old to enjoy it.
Powertrane headlines a show at the Elbow Room on Friday, January 18.
[Review published January 2008]