It’s not common for artists to release a cover as the first single off an album, but Whitey Morgan has never been much of a rule-follower.
The artist released a haunting version of Townes Van Zandt’s 1968 track “Waitin’ Round to Die”, which tells the dark story of a drifter whose experienced everything from abuse, abandonment and prison time. The video represents the story well by giving no clear resolution or explanation to what unfolds. Instead, flashes of grim scenery are interspersed with shots of Morgan sitting in the darkness with only his guitar.
“I’ve always loved that Townes song,” he told Rolling Stone Country ” and I thought, ‘What if we gave it a western vibe? What if we made it sound like the next Sergio Leone movie?’ It’s already a very dark-sounding song, so we took the guitars and tuned them down to C sharp and just ran with the idea.”
Morgan is one of those rare country artists who defy any specific labels. He’s made it clear that he likes it that way and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. In a recent interview, he shared his unfiltered thoughts on the current state of mainstream country music and the difficulties of breaking through without following the crowd.
Morgan has been playing with his honky-tonk band, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, since 2005. They’ve released two albums with indie label Bloodshot Records and have developed a strong fan base in their hometown of Detroit. The band released a new album earlier this year that has gained a lot of critical acclaim for its no-holds-barred approach to the classic outlaw country sound. After over a decade of working tirelessly to make a name for himself, it’s time Morgan got some much-deserved time in the spotlight.
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s latest album, Sonic Ranch, is available now. To learn more about his music, visit his official website.