Album Review: William Michael Morgan’s ‘Vinyl’

Without a doubt, the success of William Michael Morgan’s current single “I Met A Girl” has raised hopes for fans of Traditional Country music everywhere. The song, co-written by cross-over superstar Sam Hunt, has surprisingly been steadily climbing the airplay charts since its release. Due to the success and demand for his music, the Mississippi native released an EP not too long ago – one that showcased his potential.

He continues to live up to that promise on his full-length debut, which continues to proves that Morgan must have been listening to quite a bit of music from artists named Strait or Whitley growing up. He kicks the set off with “People Like Me,” which is kind of a modern-day nod to “Workin’ Man Blues,” complete with some guitar work that is simply out of this world.

Morgan actually turns to a few artists that were on the radio when he was growing up for some of the album’s highlights. Rhett Akins helped to contribute the whimsical and fun “Missing,” which is about getting away from life every now and then – something we all need to do occasionally. Kevin Denney and Trent Tomlinson – both of whose chart runs were too short – deliver on “Cheap Cologne” and “Lonesomeville,” respectively. Either track sounds like it could have very well been a George Strait album cut from 1994 – the ultimate compliment to Morgan, who delivers them both with potent edge.

The biggest moment on this album, however, belongs to Casey Beathard, who proves that great writing is still alive in Nashville with his brilliant “I Know Who He Is,” which is about a son watching as his father – once the beacon of strength and light – is deep in the aging process, dealing with the frailties of life. Morgan handles the track with the right amount of emotion, realizing the important thing is that he still has his father here – and to savor those moments, no matter how painful.

I look for Vinyl to deliver several more hits for the singer, as Morgan proves he is far from a one-trick pony. He manages to give a nod to his heroes without merely imitating them, which is a rare thing….and oh, yeah – He’s Country. That goes a long way in my book!