Scott Morgan had the good fortune of being in two of Michigan's most powerful and important rock bands -- in the 1960s, he was the lead singer with the legendary blue-eyed soul combo the Rationals, and in the '70s, he sang and played guitar with Sonic's Rendezvous Band, a mighty hard rock band formed by Fred "Sonic" Smith of the MC5. However, outside the Midwest, Morgan has never received the attention he deserves -- the Rationals' excellent recording of Otis Redding's "Respect" was stopped dead in its tracks by Aretha Franklin's admittedly outstanding cover, and Sonic's Rendezvous Band never scored the record deal they richly deserved, their recorded legacy during their lifetime limited to just one single. But Morgan has never stopped making great music, continuing to perform and record with a variety of groups over the years, and 2010's Scott Morgan (his first proper solo album) confirms he still has a superb voice that can handle blues, soul, and rock with equal assurance while his songwriting chops are in great shape. Scott Morgan teams the singer with a top-notch crew of Michigan rock talent -- Jim Diamond recorded the sessions at his Ghetto Recorders studio and plays bass, while Matthew Smith (Outrageous Cherry, the Volebeats) and Chris Taylor (Mazinga, Powertrane) handle the guitars, and Dave Shettler (the Sights, SSM) was the drummer. The results blend the hard rock power of Morgan's work with Sonic's Rendezvous Band and Powertrane and the passionate soul sounds of the Rationals while conjuring a tough, funky groove that's fresh and strong while rooted in a classic style. The new tunes on the album (written by Morgan and his bandmates) deliver a muscular, big city variation on classic soul archetypes (celebrated in the joyous "Memphis Time"), while his covers of "Bring It on Home to Me," "Do I Move You," and "Something About You" show Morgan can breathe new life into songs that have been in circulation for years, and his reworking of "Mississippi Delta" is nothing short of brilliant. And while the musicians on the album thoroughly deliver the goods, and Smith and Taylor make a killer guitar combo, it's Morgan who carries this show and he does it with grace, strength, and total authority. Scott Morgan has been quietly earning his reputation as one of America's great unsung rock and soul voices for decades, and on this album, he sums up a great deal of what he's learned over the years; it's one hell of a shakedown party, and you owe it to yourself to check it out.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming