Reviewed by: Stephen Krock
T. Hardy Morris (of Southern rockers Dead Confederate and collaborative supergroup Diamond Rugs) has wandered out on his lonesome in his debut solo album, Audition Tapes. This aptly titled effort is at once nostalgic and fresh. Upon the first track, I was immediately slipped something psychedelic and found myself in a righteously cozy, intimate concert. Surrounded by flower children and beaded curtains. Yet, Morris also throws in his own dash of folk and surprising pop-rock hooks to make the experience entirely modern. Kind of like Fleet Foxes on decaf. Truly, Morris is a timeless artist. One from any, or every, era.
Audition Tapes is not particularly showy. And it’s rather refreshing. I often beg for bands to experiment with their hidden talents and just go hog wild. Morris manages to show off, however, without getting at all crazy. Those damn hooks just keep everything interesting. From the rockin’ and foot stompin’ “Disaster Proof” to “OK Corral,” a tumbleweed of a tune, which could be downright hokey in less capable hands.
While the general mood of each song is arguably the same, T. Hardy Morris assuredly lands the gig in Audition Tapes. Additionally, as if supporting a great artist isn’t enough, 10% of the album’s proceeds go to The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation to fund the restoration of historic sites threatened by demolition.