Frank Morey | Cold In Hand

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United States - Massachusetts

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Rock: Roots Rock Blues: Acoustic Blues Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Cold In Hand

by Frank Morey

Tom Waits meets Johnny Cash in Jack Kerouac's hometown.
Genre: Rock: Roots Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blame It On The Devil
2:40 $0.99
2. Goin' Down Kickin'
3:29 $0.99
3. Luci
4:19 $0.99
4. Slick And Marylou
5:02 $0.99
5. Barflies, Dead Dreams And Rivers Of Whiskey Lies
4:57 $0.99
6. Darkside of the Road
2:13 $0.99
7. In The Midde Of Nowhere
3:02 $0.99
8. Two By Two
4:16 $0.99
9. Bad Like Jesse James
4:13 $0.99
10. Ghosts And Guns
4:08 $0.99
11. Bumb Shimmy
3:47 $0.99
12. Baby, It's Cold Outside
4:39 $0.99
13. Junkietown
4:15 $0.99
14. China Doll
2:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"This is real urban folk music. Songs about Junkies and Waitresses, Club fighters, vets, and people who find salvation in Atlantic City. It's Howlin Wolf, Louis Armstrong and Tom Waits."

Dave Palmater WUMB, (for Performing Songwriter Magazine)

"Frank Morey wraps his gutter rhymes in arrangements that veer from coffeehouse blues to Salvation Army brass." -

Kevin Convey, Boston Herald

"witty, gritty blues" -

Hayley Kaufman, Boston Globe

"This ain't blues- This is, Honkeytonk, bullshit!" -

Irate Drunk Ayer, MA Roadhouse

In today's society the word 'genius' is oft overused and consequently undervalued. But there are times when nothing less will do, when any other term is quite simply inadequate. And I'd submit, without reservation, that Frank Morey's "Cold In Hand" is indeed a work of unfettered genius. "Cold In Hand" is Frank's third disc. Based in Lowell, Massachusetts, all have been released on his own label. Word is there'll be a new one out in Fall 2002 on Delmark records, and if he maintains the quality evident on this outing, my guess is he's about to become much better known. Not that he's likely to see much airplay, though; Frank's world is much too dark for mainstream radio, an almost frightening place peopled with rubbies and rounders, the losers and the lost, dreaming their hopeless dreams and scheming their desperate schemes.
Religious imagery abounds, with God and the Devil seemingly locked in a battle for both Frank and his characters' souls. But Frank's holding up his end of the fight; in the first track, "Blame It On The Devil," he sings "we'll blame it on the devil/ 'til we get to church and make it alright." Next up is "Goin' Down Kickin," in which Frank defiantly promises to do just that. "Luci" sounds like the female personification of Satan him-or-herself, whose clutches Frank vows to escape . . . "Slick And Mary Lou" is a tender ballad that sees two lost souls find a measure of happiness despite all odds, with just a hint of a whiskey-soaked sentimentality to soften the edges. "Dark Side Of The Road," Frank sounding weary and resigned, is a plea for comfort where comfort is both fleeting and hard indeed to come by. But Frank's resilient; "In The Middle Of Nowhere," he's having the time of his life, fuelled by an unrepentant, unregenerate, and utterly fierce individuality. "Two By Two" continues Frank's obsessions with the struggle between God and the Devil, with the outcome altogether uncertain. Elsewhere there's "Junkietown," with Frank trying to understand how those who seemingly have it all can descend into the darkness, and the cheerful exuberance of "Bumb Shimmy," wherein he seems to revel in that very darkness himself.

Frank's gruff, gravelly voice is perfectly suited to his material. For all the blustery bravado, there's a tender vulnerability underneath it all - well hidden, to be sure, but there nonetheless. Instrumentation, too, is perfect, with his own acoustic guitar augmented by drums, bass, wheezy organ and occasional muted trumpet. There's a strong hint of Tom Waits running through proceedings, both musically and thematically; vocally the resemblance is often uncanny. It's not blues, exactly, but Frank's music is thoroughly suffused with a bluesy sensibility, owing as much to the form as it does to jazz, country, vaudeville, honky tonk . . . like America itself, it's very much a melting pot, a rich mix of influences. Call it, then, 'Americana,' but from the country's underbelly, the dark side of the dream. It's where Frank wants to be, though, where he needs to be, and while he recognizes its perils, there's simply no other place for a soul such as his. I'd suggest you join him there, if only for a while. Just make sure you come back.

John Taylor



to write a review

Paul Davis

Calling all blues heads and barflies
I can hardly find the words. Music of such magnitude is impossible to articulate. You have to experience Cold in Hand for yourself. I spent many a Wednesday night listening to Frank Morey at Vincents in Worcester and let me tell you; the feeling and emotion conveyed by Frank Morey is just as intense on recordings as it is live. This CD speaks to the new life of living in twenty-first century America.

Hayley Kaufman Boston Globe

Witty Gritty Blues!
Witty Gritty Blues!


great folk music without the whine
I can't give this CD enough praise. It's everything american folk music should be minus the whine. It's cool, it's
emotional, it's raw, it gives the feeling of being at a live show. Anyone with a love for smoky clubs, old blues and great
story telling will love this album.


This album is perfect road music, or music to put in when sitting on a balcony smoking and drinking. The voice is reminiscent of Tom Waits- but the lyrics and melodies much more coherent. The way Frank plays with words in this album will really draw you in.

Butch Coolidge

Gutsy American music!
A balls-out album of blues, folk, and americana. Whiskey-fueled songs about good and evil, women, liquor, and other worthwhile topics. Thumbs up to this CD!


Great stuff
Gritty blues that is minimal in its approach yet it never gets boring. Frank's vocals are like a cleaner yet still gravely Tom Waits. The lyrics are a highlight of the entire package. Fun stuff that is recommended. The "Delmark Sessions" CD is probably the best of the lot to date by Frank Morey, but this is definitely recommended as well.

Jack Gubanc

More great music from Morey!
Frank Morey sings from his heart and his gut! His music is what you would hear in a club in the seediest part of town where all great music has its roots. Frank's voice and accompaniment is sparce and what you would expect from a black delta bluesman and not a white folky from Lowell, MA.
If you want an album that is honest and in the tradition of the great blues singer/songwriters, then buy this album!
Smoking and drinking is permitted during listening!

Joshua Tanzer

Celebrating Mass.
If the music business were set up to reward talent, Frank Morey would be that guy flashing cash around the streets of Lowell. From something as small as the turn of an unexpected phrase to something as big as understanding the soul of a community, there's probably not a better songwriter around.

Nicky Rossiter

"A fascinating album"
Frank Morey's Cold in Hand is a fascinating album. The track listing is full of titles that sound familiar, but all are listed as self-penned songs. Harmonica dominates the opening "Blame it on the Devil," and the track sets the tone for the whole album. "Goin Down Kickin'" is my favourite track. Morey tells us that he will "step on everybody on my way down." He quotes from Dylan Thomas in his "rage against the dying of the light." It is a song that, despite the theme, is very happy sounding. "Luci" is a fabulous story-song that captures a mood and keeps the listener hanging on every line. With lines like "you're a devil woman, soul been spoken for" and "she got 666 on her inner ,thigh" you will get the gist. A short story in music and song is how I can best describe "Slick and Mary Lou." "She met Slick at a hotdog stand" and "they took off in a Cadillac coupe De Ville" gets it going, and you cannot wait to see where it all leads. I will not spoil the treat by revealing the ending. The song title of the year has to be "Barflies, Dead Dreams and Rivers of Whiskey Lies." Just the picture conjured by the title is magical and the song itself does not let the listener down. "Two By Two" is one of those beautiful, easygoing songs based on the Bible but given a very human note with Eve being "bitten on the ass." "Ghosts and Guns" is another classic tale from this talented songwriter. It tells an old western gunfighter tale with beauty and soul and a fantastic underlying music track that haunts you with its simplicity. You can feel the dust the sun and the sorrow. Oh, how I wish some of these songs could get a wider audience, to replace some of the trash that radio stations offer. The whole album has that magical feel. Listening to it you can almost feel that you are in a smokey blues club, sipping a beer and being entertained by a group that plays the music for love rather than money. Some of the lyrics may be a bit earthy but they fit so snugly with the warm voice of Morey that it would be difficult to take offense. Morey reminds me very much of the bluesy period of the early Kris Kristofferson. Every track on this CD has the potential to be a hit if the discerning audience out there could just hear them on a regular basis. Morey is another of the growing band of singer-songwriters that I want to hear more of, but more importantly, he is one that radio listeners need to hear more of to make him the name he deserves.

erica mcnulty

i love this cd more than i love life.
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