Will to power

Ken Will Morton’s solo debut, In Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Hands, is a textbook singer/songwriter record. It’s earnest through and through, from its rootsy, folk-rock feel (compliments of a sturdy cast of players) to its thoughtful ruminations on disintegrating relationships (“Lesson in Dying Love”) and the vagaries of growing older and wiser (“Breaking Ties,” “Rebound Road”).

It’s also a far cry from his work with the spirited punk-pop combo Wonderlust, and a bit more sincere and straightforward than his last outfit, scruffy Atlanta roots-rockers the Indicators. But for Morton, currently based in Athens, this newer, more intimate approach is — paradoxically enough — a better fit with his restless spirit.

“I just write a lot of songs,” Morton muses, “and I just want to get them out there. Wonderlust had more of a punk edge; that’s the kind of players they were. I’d write a country song, and it’d end up over the top. And the Indicators were more [flat-out] rock ‘n’ roll. Many of my songs are more intimate, and more suitable for acoustic guitar.”

But as Hands shows, Morton doesn’t see his material as being incompatible with a rock-band approach. Having toured as a one-man acoustic act for a while, he’s eager to inject some more muscle into his live show, as Friday’s performance at 10 High should make clear.

Audiences can expect “a full-bore rock show; more lead guitar and stuff like that,” he says. “When you’re just out there with an acoustic and some harmonica, you can only make so much racket, unless you put some cymbals between your knees.”

Ken Will Morton plays 10 High with Schmittfaced and Stevie Tombstone Fri., Sept. 3, 10 p.m. $7.