Cary Morin – Dockside Saints
12 tracks; 51 minutes
Cary Morin’s Dockside Saints is a stylistically intriguing album, merging a laid-back Creole, Zydeco sound, with Cary’s Piedmont blues finger picking style that reflects the native cultures of the south mixed with his Montana Crow tribal heritage. While this musical potpourri seems an unlikely mixture, it works beautifully to create a listening experience akin to the blending of zydeco and delta blues with American roots genres.
The album’s title, Dockside Saints, pays homage to where they recorded the twelve tracks — Dockside Studio in Maurice, LA, a twelve-acre retreat in which musicians stay to create, rather than pay by the hour. Hundreds of talented musicians have made albums there, from New Orleans legend Dr. John to Levon Helm, the Band, Rod Stewart, and the legendary B.B. King who gifted the studio Lucille.
The album was produced and engineered by multi-Grammy winning producer/engineer, Tony Daigle and Mastered by Jim Demain at Yes Master in Nashville, TN.
Dockside Saints reflects the feel of musical camaraderie with a talented lineup of musicians including bassist Lee Allen Zeno, drummer Brian Brignac, accordionist Corey Ledet, Eric Adcock on keys, Celeste Di Iorio on harmony vocals, Keith Blair and John Fohl on electric guitar and Beau Thomas on fiddle. Cary Morin has composed and written all the songs, sings vocals and plays acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitar.
“Nobody Gotta Know” starts off the album with drumbeat and a holler reminiscent of the Stones “Sympathy for the Devil” but immediately breaks into a good timing dance tune featuring the full band with guitar and keyboard solos in the break.
From here on the album takes a more serene spiritual and romantic turn with Cary’s Piedmont blues finger picking style setting the rhythmic pace — a distinctive alternating thumb bass string pattern supported by a syncopated melody using the treble strings.
“Exception to the Rule” is a mellow love song with a 4/4 beat with Cary’s haunting voice acknowledging he’s “not easy to be around, but you help me see the light” and letting his loved one know “everything is better next to you.”
“Prisoner” features Cary’ solo guitar and voice breaking into a blues lament recognizing that “anything I do, I do alone” but coming to the realization that it’s time for him to take charge of his own life singing “Think it’s time I’ve gotta be somebody too.”
Opening with a slide guitar introducing the melody “Because He Told Me So” is a spiritual song, replete with back-up singers, reaffirming his faith as he wanders through the world. “Chosen Road” also reflects the spiritual acceptance of the path that was chosen for him in life.
“Valley of the Chiefs” stands out as a ballad closer to his Crow tribal heritage, woven with the melodies from the fiddle and electric guitar.
Dockside Saints additional tracks continues to weave the Zydeco sounds of fiddle and accordion with Cary’s blues style .