The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 28, 2013

Gurf Morlix brings his bluesy style to Elk Creek

By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item

MILLHEIM — Johnny Cash sang about a boy named Sue. Now get ready to hear from a man named Gurf.

On Sunday evening, the Elk Creek Café in Millhiem will welcome the uniquely named Gurf Morlix, a vocalist, songwriter and record producer, to the stage for a gig filled with bluesy, folk-inspired roots music that speaks of pure Americana.

“I write songs. I guess they could be considered folk songs but they are bluesy and very roots music oriented. There is no zippity-doo-dah here,” he said.

Morlix performs a solo show and thanks to a drum he plays with his foot, the Austin, Texas, resident will have a rhythm section for the original tunes he performs with a slow yet steady drive.

For the past 50 years, Morlix has devoted his life and strength to making music or helping others make a joyous sound, including producing two albums for nationally known Lucinda Williams.

Others noted names he has worked or performed with include Ray Wylie Hubbard, Warren Zevon, Ian McLagan, Patty Griffin, Robert Earl Keen, Michael Penn, Buddy Miller and Mary Gauthier.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have played with and produced records for some of the people I consider to be the best in the business,” he said.

His own musical style and skills aren’t that shabby.

A musician who came of age during the free-spirited 1960s, his music echoes faintly of that era with a sound that is natural and free from all the electronic trappings of today’s over-processed music.

Morlix’s music gets down to the basics and depends of talent and skill instead of shrouding it in a haze of techno sound.

“There are people who perform in a similar style but it’s the songs that make the difference,” he said. “My heart and soul are poured into it.”

His latest album, “Gurf Morlix Finds the Present Tense,” is a work he considered to be very tense and showcases the music of a performer who has seen plenty of ups and downs.

So, how did the gray-haired and rugged Morlix come up with a name like Gurf?

“My parents were eccentric. It took a long time but now I feel I have earned the name.”

On Sunday he’ll be busy earning the praise and applause of patrons at the Elk Creek Café for a show that showcases his signature style of performing.

“People will hear the songs and the stories I tell,” he said. “They should expect to be moved, to laugh, cry. To feel something.”