Record Of The Week # 136

Kendall Marvel – Come on Sunshine

It struck me, as I listened to Marvel’s third release in five years, about the lot of most of Nashville’s songwriters for hire. They ply their trade around the town, mostly in collaborations and by chance, and practise, they eventually write something exceptional. I’m sure many of the songs, or most of the songs, that these talented tunesmiths develop are excellent but probably nothing that may pay the future rent.He’s now directing his best material to his own releases with Come on Sunshine the latest to drop. This and his two preceding albums are loaded with attractive songs that are delivered with his pleasing and expressive baritone and on each album there are some gems.

Marvel writes in collaboration on all ten compositions and especially with Chris Stapleton, an old buddy. Stapleton also joins him on Don’t Tell Me How To Drink. This belligerent ditty is full of swagger and the title tells you all you need to know. In fact Marvel luxuriates in being a man of maturity and independence of thought; he’s not for following trends or doing much other than ploughing his own furrow. Songs such as Keep Doing Your Thing lay this out pretty clearly and despite his equable stance between the Left and Right it’s probably clear the way he votes.

In addition he’s also not past being sentimental and Fool Like Me is an exceptional blue eyed soul love song that immediately attracted a lot of stars in my iTunes library. Throughout the music has a hard outlaw vibe and pithy lyrics that back up the edge. Put It in the Plate has a funky southern feel with a stomping back beat and some squally guitar; the message is that despite all our missteps and temptations then celestial investment is advised to ensure a positive after life. Wading through the deeper issues that pass through his head then Come on Sunshine has the profundity of a man seeking calm and some light to make it through the night. A wonderful bit of soft rock with pedal steel that captivates.

Up until his late forties Marvel exclusively wrote for the great and the good of country music and enjoyed hits with Gary Allan, George Strait, Jamey Johnson and Chris Stapleton, amongst others. In 2017 he decided to focus on his own recording career and release solo albums. I look forward to every release. This is a fine collection well worth your time.

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