John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat

If you are reading this blog then you are a fan of music just like me; so, I want to give you a piece of advice:

Never miss the opening act.

Seriously, always get to the show early.  My wife and I went to Nashville to see Shovels & Rope at The Ryman.  They themselves are a band that I discovered because they were an opening act.  We found our seats in the balcony and when the lights lowered a very large man with a big bushy beard walked onto the stage.  He sat down in a chair and picked up a guitar that his large size dwarfed and began to play.  He was joined by a skinny cowboy that played rhythm, piano, and harmonica.  He got a standing ovation when his opening set was done and I rushed to the merch table to buy this record.

Simple complexity.  Does that make sense?  Because that is how I am going to describe High On Tulsa Heat.  The majority of the album is simple guitars and maybe an upright bass.  There are instances of a full band with electric guitar, drums, an organ, and more, but the music still stays simplistic.

John Moreland’s lyrics on High On Tulsa Heat are heart wrenching, full of anguish and despair, and absolutely brilliant.  This record can make you very, very sad.  It is the perfect album if you need a good cry and we all need that sometimes.

High On Tulsa Heat is hard to categorize.  It isn’t country, but it kind of is; it isn’t red dirt, but it kind of is; it isn’t folk, but it kind of is.  I hesitate to call it singer-songwriter because I feel that term is overused and mainly for uppity asshole wannabe hippies.  However, this music is a man and his words, so I suppose it falls under the technical definition of singer-songwriter.

My favorite track: Cleveland County Blues

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