Tonight: Gurf Morlix at Cactus Music and McGonigel's Mucky Duck

Gurf Morlix treks into town today for the official Houston release of his new LP

Last Exit To Happyland

. Whether the former Houstonian and Blaze Foley roommate is working on loping rockers or folksy Americana, Morlix is a master of tone and mood, squeezing maximum subtlety out of a few well-chosen notes rather than cluttering his poems with meaningless clatter and bang. Morlix finds magic again with duet partner Patty Griffin. Griffin has some otherworldly instinct for finding transcendent harmonies, and her voice mixes perfectly with Morlix's pain on "She's A River," "I Got Nothin'" and the aching "Voices of Midnight." If those three don't make you cry, get some new tear ducts or have your conscience checked by a specialist.

When the voice of midnight calls

When the last hour finally falls Well it won't be no surprise I'll be searching for your eyes

5:30 pm tonight, Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth (free) and 7:30 pm, McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999 or www.mcgonigels.com.

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