Kameron Marlowe – We Were Cowboys
Kameron Marlowe, an excellent writing team and two accomplished producers have concocted a fabulous Bro-country debut with many memorable tracks. Marlowe’s terrific voice, despite his tender years at 25, is full of allure, expression and carries you along with his stories about growing up, heartbreak and small towns. His path from car parts salesman to a recording studio with Dan Huff involved some appearances on The Voice, where his vocal prowess was recognized. His talent also includes songwriting; he wrote his first single, Giving You Up, and co-wrote another nine songs on this album. (Brad Hall produced the earlier released single and EP’s swept up and added to this album.)
The title track is a cracking starter but Country Boy’s Prayer is even better; delicious couplets like ‘And I know I’ve left you hangin’ / Like that cross around my rear view’. At a stroke without explanation we know he’s a God fearing boy full of regret and probably driving a truck. Similarly Steady Heart – “When you mix my calloused ways with her sweet touch / She’s a candlelight in all my dark” is top-drawer wordsmithery. Humour can also be found, Granny’s Got A Garden (For G’maw Jan), is an affectionate portrait of his grand mother who reaches for weed “When her back gets to hurtin’ / You might smell somethin’ burnin’ / It’s a different kinda sowin’ / More than just tomatoes she’s growing”.
The surge in quality that comes with the hiring of top songwriters and producers is immeasurable. Dan Huff’s worked with many country and rock acts and what he brings to his work is a selection of sounds. His rock band backing has genuinely interesting guitar breaks and funky rhythm patterns as opposed to the rock torpor purveyed by session men of slappy snare drums and recycled screeching guitar passages. In addition there are many acoustic moments and even some slide and fiddle, Fool Me Again starts gently and the band, when it arrives, is dialed down. Marlowe has a voice that needs complementing not accompanying. Runnin’ Out On You follows the same pattern: just drink up that voice. Sublime. Marlowe does completely rock out on the closer Long Way Down with a girly chorus and no pretence at country.
Marlowe could be massive. It takes small but important differences to go from run-of-the-mill to stellar (and move away from the Bro-country crowd.) Marlowe has it all.