By Joshua Wallace
This past Saturday night, I had the privilege of seeing Whitey Morgan and The 78s live with Alex Williams opening up the show. This show was at the Hargray Capitol Theater in Macon, GA which used to be known as the Cox Capitol Theater. It’s a nice venue that looks like a classic theater setup. It has a very nice balcony area which presents some great views if you do not like to be on the floor. For this night, these are two bands who are at different points in their careers, yet their sound are the perfect complements to each other. Alex Williams has a trimmed down honky tonk band with a lead guitar player, bass and drums while Whitey has two lead guitars, an acoustic guitar, a pedal steel guitar, bass and drums. The crowd for the show wasn’t fully packed, but it was a good size crowd and a good crowd for the bands.
Alex Williams Rocking Out
Steve Daily on Lead Guitar
Alex Williams was up first and this was my first chance to see him live since Tumbleweed 2018. I liked this set much better over that one. I have to commend Alex’s lead guitar player Steve Daily. He did a stellar job on this set and was a big part of the band’s sound across the entire set. Alex opened the night with a track off his debut album called “Hellbent Hallelujah”. He then followed that up with a newer song called “Drunken Days & Cloudy Nights”. He seems to still be deciding which new songs go on the record as he played a few during his set and said that they may or may not be on his next record. He also did a cover tune of Terry Allen’s “Amarillo Highway” which featured a guest appearance by Whitey Morgan’s pedal steel player Brett Robinson. He also featured tracks from his new album heavily with renditions of “Freak Flag”, “Pay No Mind”, “Little Too Stoned”, “Old Tattoo” and “More Than Survival”. Of these tracks, my favorites are “Freak Flag” and “Pay No Mind”. Throughout the set, on tracks like “Pay No Mind”, he made references to the Georgia in the lyrics which was a nice touch. Overall, this was a great set and I can’t wait to see Alex Williams headlining one day.
Alex Williams Singing “Old Tattoo”
Whitey Morgan and Joey Spina on Lead Guitar
Whitey Morgan and The 78s quickly followed Alex Williams on stage. This band was on fire tonight and for my money one of the best live bands out there. Whitey kicked off the night with “Bad News” off his self titled 2010 release. The band covered every album on this set and whether it was old or new, every track blended in and sounded like it belonged. This set did feature quite a few tracks from his new album Hard Times & White Lines. Those were “Around Here”, “Honky Tonk Hell”, “Just Got Paid” and “Tired Of The Rain”. Of these, “Around Here” and “Honky Tonk Hell” were my favorites. “Honky Tonk Hell” is a killer live track and it is easily a highlight of the night. Another highlight of this set were the cover songs. Whitey does some killer renditions of “Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue”, “Just Got Paid”, “I’m On Fire” and “Fire On The Mountain” to name a few. It may seem like a cover heavy set, but his renditions of these songs will become your favorite versions. Whitey closed out the show with an encore which featured “Me And The Whiskey”, “Sinner”, and his version of Townes Van Zandt’s “Waiting Around To Die. This is one of those songs that a lot of bands play, but again, Whitey’s version is the best of them.
Tony Martinez On Acoustic Guitar
Tony Martinez, Whitey Morgan, Joey Spina and Alex Lyon rock out during the encore
Whitey Morgan and The 78s are the best I have ever heard them live at this point in their career. They are a band that is on fire and if they come close to your town, I highly recommend seeing their live show. Alex Williams serves as the perfect opening act for Whitey as he is at an early stage in his career, but their sounds compliment each other perfectly. You can check out http://www.whiteymorgan.com and http://www.alexwilliamsofficial.com for dates on where both of these bands will be next.