Sam Morrow: 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Sam Morrow

Feature Photo by Bobbi Rich

Now five records deep into his young but accomplished career, Sam Morrow has shown that he’s no one-trick-pony. It’s not easy creating a unique sound, let alone one so funky, rootsy, and brimming with roadhouse blues-meets-rock, but Morrow has done it.

His latest record, On the Ride Here, continues his transition into a premier songwriter and guitarist of his era. The tracks, which listeners will be able to feast on come release day, which is March 22, 2024, show that Morrow’s penchant for writing tasty songs on, you guessed it—the road, is well in hand.

Be it cuts about his favorite highway stops, peyote freakouts in the desert, or Morrow’s way of telling tales that glamorize yet humanize the rigors of the road via ephemera and travelogues, On the Ride Here is undoubtedly Morrow’s masterstroke.

Sam Morrow has grown yet again through the lens of a new perspective. Where he goes next only the road knows, but in the meantime, climb aboard for a quick chat with Sam, where ClassicRockHistory.com collected the ten albums—in no particular order—that changed his life.

Waiting for Columbus – Little Feat (1977)

If you know me, you know I’m a gigantic Little Feat fan. I love pretty much everything they have ever done, but this live record takes the cake. It has the perfect mix of respecting the song and respecting the moment. It is one of the best-sounding live records you will ever hear. I wish I could have been at one of these shows.

Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)

To this day, it still blows my mind that this is a band’s first record. Introducing the world to your music with “I Ain’t the One” is maybe the best debut ever. I’ve heard that they didn’t play a lot of the parts on this record, and they just learned them after the fact. But by God did they learn them—one of the most well-rehearsed bands ever.

Sneaking Sally Through the Alley – Robert Palmer (1974)

I liked Robert Palmer before I heard this record, but this record really showed me who he was. The guy can absolutely sing his ass off. This record was produced by Lowell George, who had The Meters as his band. It’s a dream lineup—groove heaven. The first three-song medley at the top can’t be beaten.

Rio Grande Mud – ZZ Top (1972)

This is the quintessential Texas record for me. It reminds me of all the times I drove from California back home to Texas through West Texas on I-10. My favorite tune changes all the time, but right now, it’s “Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell.” The space and silence and guitar playing is perfect to me.

Colossal Head – Los Lobos (1996)

This record came to me a little later in life through my drummer, Matt Tecu. The Kings of East L.A. are probably the most underrated rock group of all time. The way they meld different types of music so seamlessly is perfect. All the drum sounds on this record and how different they really inspire me to try all kinds of weird things when I’m in the studio myself.

Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Sturgill Simpson (2014)

This one is more modern but hit me at the right time in my life. It was country music like I had never heard before. It was what I wanted country music to be: weird, honest, a bit rock ‘n’ roll, and a little psychedelic.

Ram – Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney (1971)

I love how diverse this record is. When was the last time a singer/songwriter put out something this diverse? I don’t think anyone can write melodies the way Paul [and Linda] can. I can only hope my brain works like that someday.

Burglar – Freddie King (1974)

For me, Freddie is the king. This record does not have a bad tune on it. The way he takes standard blues songs and turns the grooves on their head and the way he composes these tunes are really inspiring to me. It’s all timeless.

Car Wheels – Lucinda Williams (1998)

Songwriting. Lucinda is such a badass poet, and her voice is so soothing to me. She always has the best musicians in the business backing her up, some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to play with.

The Slider by T. Rex (1972)

I love all the guitar tones on this record. It’s fuzzy, melodic rock ‘n’ roll at its best. Marc Bolan left us way too soon.

Sam Morrow: 10 Albums That Changed My Life article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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