Personnel: Jimmy Ritchey (acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, banjo); Ilya Toshinskiy (acoustic guitar, banjo); Brent Mason (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (lap steel guitar); Aubrey Haynie (mandolin, fiddle); Larry Franklin (fiddle); Gordon Mote (keyboards); Shannon Forrest (drums); Wes Hightower (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Justin Niebank.
Recording information: Fox Ridge Recording Studio; Highland Park Sound; Ocean Way Studios; The Warner. Bros Studio.
Photographer: Amy Richmond.
The very title of Vinyl illustrates that William Michael Morgan is an old soul. He may have been born at the height of Garth Brooks' reign, but the Mississippi singer pledges allegiance to George Strait, playing straight-ahead country songs ranging from a bit of Texas swing to soft-focus ballads. With his easy touch, Morgan sells both sounds without a hitch and he's not quite as traditional as appears: the hit "I Met A Girl" is co-written by Shane McAnally and Sam Hunt, the latter responsible for some of the most progressive country hits of the mid-2010s. Morgan still spins these songs toward the front porch, and if his insistence to adhering to traditions that seemed slightly dusty when Strait revived them in the '80s, there's no denying that he plays this music with reverence and heart. He doesn't dare mess with tradition but he's warm and cheerful, so this feels loose, not buttoned-up. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine