In the pantheon of 90's alternative-rock, you could say Boston trio Morphine were one of the most alternative. Leader Mark Sandman's seductive vocals and two-string slide bass, partnered with only baritone saxophone and drums, created a sound Sandman himself dubbed as "low rock" but almost 30 years after the band's inception, their fans as well as newcomers still struggle to put Morphine's uniqueness into words. Since Sandman's tragic death in 1999, saxophonist Dana Colley (along with surviving members of Morphine and other collaborators) has kept that distinct sound alive through Orchestra Morphine and currently Vapors Of Morphine, as well as an upcoming limited LP release from Warner Music Group imprint Run Out Groove of Morphine's 1997 set at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, cut to vinyl by Jeff Powell at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording. On today's show, Colley discusses his fascination with liner notes and how vinyl records act as an archive for a moment in time, while Run Out Groove's Matt Block visits to talk about the label's fan-driven voting process, why a Morphine live show was chosen over studio albums that have yet to see vinyl pressings and how quality digital recordings have as much of a right to exist in the vinyl market as analog. Visit RunOutGrooveVinyl.com to find a store near you that will carry Morphine's Live At The Warfield 1997 next month, and check out VaporsOfMorphine.com for news and tour dates.
Over the last 25+ years, the legendary Chuck Berry, an inarguable architect of rock n' roll and known worldwide for hits like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven," had been working on what would become his final album. The aptly-titled Chuck is his first studio record since 1979 and was finished prior to his death this past March. The LP features current rock staples like Gary Clark Jr., Nathaniel Rateliff and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello alongside members of his family, including son Charles Jr., who had already built himself a successful career in IT, but had virtually zero music experience, before joining his father's band in the early 2000's. This week, Charles Jr. remembers 16RPM records, his mother's vinyl collection and his dad's guitars over the years, plus we discuss his own vinyl buying habits and why this final album took over a generation to complete. He also talks about the memories he's made through his father's music with his own son, Charles III, including their recent appearance together on The Tonight Show. The album Chuck is available on Dualtone Records wherever you buy music; go to ChuckBerry.com for more info. SPONSORS: Vinyl Me, Please; Pinwheel Records; Vinyl For A Cause; Flipbin.