A FRIDAY night in the Cathouse is not normally an occasion for soothing harmonies over acoustic guitars. But when Mark Morton comes to town, exceptions can be made.

The Virginia man made his return to Glasgow – a city of some infamy for him – and delivered an intimate, stripped-down offering of his latest solo work.

Morton is perhaps better known as lead guitarist with metal heavyweights Lamb of God, but in March last year he released Anaesthetic – featuring a host of familiar names in the rock and metal arenas.

He performed vocals on one track but did not partake during the five-date tour of the UK this month. Instead, he enlisted the help of the very capable Mark Morales (whom he worked with on the project) with Joe Harvatt taking up the role of guitarist and backing vocals.

The trio kickstarted the Cathouse set with a selection of tracks from Anaesthetic. The majority of those songs lend themselves nicely to an acoustic setting, but Imaginary Days and Blur were particularly captivating. Even while “unplugged”, Morton is capable of some tantalising licks and singer Mark Morales is adept at putting his own stamp on those tunes he did not record.

Make no mistake – Morales is a colossus. His vocals are shockingly good; with Morton evidently impressed himself, with his frequent smiling revealing just how much he enjoys working with the Sons of Texas frontman.

Added to that, Morales is given plenty of support with handsome backing vocals from Harvatt – no slouch on the guitar in his own right.

Indeed, Morton quipped that he could “sit here all night, listening to these guys sing” – a statement which should elicit universal agreement.

Though Morales features on both Anaesthetic and the upcoming Ether EP, it is intriguing to hear his take on songs performed by some of the other amazing artists involved, including Myles Kennedy, Mark Lanegan and the late Chester Bennington.

Sure enough, the pitfall with acoustic versions of hard, driving rock songs is that much of the power may well be lost – but with Morales’ committed performances, there is no chance of that.

Morton gave the audience a sneak peek of the Ether EP with performances of The Fight and Love My Enemy and both were a joy to sample. They also showcased their single upcoming All I Had to Lose – another hauntingly impressive track.

The gig was topped with some interesting covers from Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Black Sabbath, but it was the original Morton tracks which really shone through. Here’s hoping for a full-band return date in the near future.


Imaginary Days
Save Defiance
She Talks To Angels (Black Crowes cover)
All I Had To Lose
The Fight
Black (Pearl Jam cover)
Down In A Hole (Alice In Chains cover)
Love My Enemy
Cross Off
Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath cover)

LISTEN: Mark Morton Spotify