Duke of Arkansas
'He takes from ABBA as fast as he steals from fellow Arkansan Sleepy LaBeef, and he combines the two in a jointed way that makes you think of Jimmie Rodgers before you think of Beck.' - Oxford American 'What the material does make clear...is that Morphew's got the soul - and more specifically, the lyrics - of a poet.' - CMJ Jason Morphew is known mostly for his mournful ballads, but Duke is a huge departure from his previous work. It features a big supporting cast: Ikey Owens of The Mars Volta plays keyboards on almost every track, current and former members of the Beachwood Sparks are on most of the songs - strings, loud guitars, synthesizers, and pedal steel parts (performed by famous LA studio musician Doug Livingston) abound. Recorded mostly by former Ratt bassist Matt Thorne at his home studio, the emphasis here is on rock and roll. The women who sang the theme song to the TV show The Jeffersons ('Movin' On Up') sing backup on two of the tracks. Morphew, a duke from Arkansas himself, has come from the heartland to mess up any concept of boundaries in music. Rather, in the end, it's all American rock.