Bill Morrissey - "Summer Night"
I think that fans of the late Bill Morrissey have always been too quick to forgive a new listener if they fail to fall madly for his songs, due to his voice. The same dull-witted jabs are thrown at John K. Samson, Bob Dylan, John Darnielle, and [insert 101 other uniquely throated songwriters here], but even with a wild and untamed imagination, I can’t mentally conjure more effective vehicles to deliver gifts like “Left and Leaving,” “Tangled Up in Blue,” or “Dance Music.” Or “Summer Night.”
In isolation, this wistful number seems like it drifts as carelessly as campfire smoke. However, its placement square in the middle of Standing Eight provides a punctuated measure of relief amidst these finger-picked short stories of heartbreak, heartache, and alcoholic regret. The album ends with “These Cold Fingers,” which is one of those compositions that you simply can’t unhear. In the plainest terms I can muster, let me say it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
For now, settle in and let the harmonica hail the full moon. It’s such a lovely summer night.