|One man, one guitar (oh and one wifey). Photo (c) Matthew Keefer|
Morton opened set with "Poor Bastard" off his 2016 solo debut, What Will Destroy You, and delivered to the hungry audience a few more songs off the album. I have never heard an audience so quiet during a show. Morton's songs always have a tragic feel to them, but stripped bare of the dense instrumentation, with just his voice and minimal guitar, I was not the only one in the audience mesmerized. When Morton suddenly broke into Typhoon favorite "Belly of the Cavern" (2010 EP Hunger and Thirst), there were smiles in every direction as people slowly starting to sing along.
Morton is a small man - literally. So small, in fact, that it was difficult to see him on the stage; but he has an emotive power to his voice. Imagine if Kermit the Frog and a baby angel procreated (okay, don't imagine it, that's gross) [ed's note: it certainly is; apologies to our readers!] but somehow that strikes close to the sound of Kyle Morton's singing voice. You likely think that sounds horrible, tragically horrible, but I can assure you that unique, gut-wrenching emotion behind his words make his voice quite beautiful.
Morton sprinkled other Typhoon songs throughout his set including my personal favorites, "Prosthetic Love" and "Common Sentiments" - the latter of which was one of the best sing-a-longs I have ever experienced. The entire audience acted as his backing track and even sang harmonies along with him. The room - Cafe 939 - felt alive with love, not only for the music, but for life itself.
Morton closed the show by allowing the audience to give him an "encore" ovation without, as he said, having to "leave the stage and stand around awkwardly for a minute." His wife, Danielle Sullivan of the band Wild Ones, joined him for the last few songs of the night, one of which was a sneak peek off of Typhoon's third full-length album (due later this year, title TBD). The cute duo also did a cover of John Prine's "In Spite of Ourselves," and while there isn't a video from Cafe 939, you can shut off the lights, bring 40-50 people into your living room, and play this Youtube link to get something close to the experience.
Of course, Morton invited fans to visit him at the merch table, and took time to chat with each of them and sign copies of his records. [ed's note: and take photos, 'natch] In short: great guy, great show.
Keep with with Typhoon's and Kyle Morton's upcoming releases (and shows!) at their site: www.wearetyphoon.com