30 November 2012
Provocative Fun Lovin' Criminal frontman, BBC broadcaster and ex United States Marine, Huey Morgan closes what has been an exciting 2012 with the release of new single ‘Christmas By The Side Of The Road', taken from his debut solo album ‘Say It To My Face'.
No stranger to speaking his mind, London-based New Yorker Huey Morgan is deeply passionate about the livelihood of our veterans here in the UK, the US and beyond. "These men and women not only risk their lives but they will also have to the deal with the long-term psychological effects of war - and it's far too easy for everybody to take this for granted - out of sight, out of mind". Huey announced live on BBC Breakfast in October, that he would be donating all of his earnings from record sales relating to the new album ‘Say It To My Face' to Help for Heroes here in the UK and the Wounded Warrior Project in the USA. ‘Say It To My Face' is drenched with the same effortless cool of Huey's famous vocals and deft blues licks, yet with Huey's new venture, the half Irish, half Puerto Rican icon more abundantly explores the roots, country and soul influences that he's become celebrated for sharing on his BBC Radio shows. Festive single ‘Christmas By The Side Of The Road' is no exception, with dextrous country n' western pedal steel guitar courtesy of the legendary BJ Cole, bar room blues piano from Blind Boys of Alabama keys maestro Pete Levin and stacked falsetto harmonies from the other New Yorkers (King, Frank and Na'im).
In a half-sung drawl that would befit the car radio of the '58 Chevy that Huey describes as being stuck on "the wrong side of the GWB" (George Washington Bridge), he portrays a soldier driving home to New York City to spend time with his mamma on Christmas day after five years apart; "I can see the lights of the city through the snow, I'm just about 55 miles from my home, I guess it's Christmas by the side of the road".
Huey and the gang have also recorded a stripped-down festive B-side. "John and Yoko wrote ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)' - which we've renamed ‘Merry Christmas' just to make it our own - as a protest song to the Vietnam War. If we were gonna do any Christmas cover version as a B side to ‘Christmas By The Side Of The Road', it had to be this one because of the similarity in context: both are Christmas songs inspired by wars being fought on the other side of the world, rightly or wrongly - 99.9% of the people affected don't get to decide. Man, that Lennon cat was a good writer."
In the unique promo video for ‘CBTSOTR', candidly Huey ventures out to busk on a cold winter day at various London locations in his old military issue desert combat jacket, attempting to raise money for Help for Heroes, with a cardboard hand-written sign inscribed ‘At Christmas time, remember our veterans'. Appropriately unrecognised on the roadside by the public for the majority of the day, the video quite poignantly serves as a reminder of the social boundaries that our returning soldiers can be faced with. Christmas cheer prevails however, and Huey raises £132 for the charity. "This wasn't just about raising money and it wasn't just about makin' a video. It was about reminding people of the importance of these issues at a time of year when it's easy to get wrapped up in the festivities. I had a great time - don't be surprised to see me out there again doin' my thing before Christmas is out!"
'Christmas By The Side Of The Road' is 16th December 2012 on iTunes, CLICK HERE to download your copy.
Buy or download Huey and the New Yorkers debut album 'Say It To My Face' on CD, 180gm LP (with HD Download Code) or Hi Def Download HERE.