Easy Eye Sound
Time has been tight at the WP ranch. There are lots of exciting things happening, which has made finding time to listen to new music a challenge, while making time to write reviews all but impossible. But when an album as good as Solid Gold Sounds hits the turntable, we would be doing ourselves, and you, a disservice if we didn’t get something down.
Kendell Marvel is a Nashville-based songwriter who has had his material recorded by WP favourite Jamey Johnson and the great George Strait, as well as Chris Stapleton, Lee Ann Womack and the Brothers Osbourne, to pick a bunch of cherries. His previous album, 2017’s Lowdown and Lonesome, was a slice of modern outlaw country that received more than it’s fair share of spins here at Whiskey Preachin. With his new album, Solid Gold Sounds, produced by Dave Ferguson (John Prine, Mac Wiseman, Del McCoury) and Dan Auerbach, for Auerbach’s Nashville-based Easy Eye Sound label, Marvel has delivered one of the strongest country records of 2019, a perfect fit for the Whiskey Preachin sound, pure twang and groove from start to finish.
Marvel has all the bourbon-drenched swagger you would want from an outlaw, but these songs are crafted to last the test of time. Marvel’s voice works about as well as anyone could hope for on this material, as well, to the point that you wonder why he has spent so long behind the pen, rather than the mic. Auerbach recorded the vocals in a way that allows the deep resonance in Marvel’s voice to be maximised, getting him to sing more softly to draw out those tones and then turning up the volume for the full punch. The result is wonderful.
With Solid Gold Sounds following on the heels of the critically lauded album from Yola, previously unreleased albums by Link Wray, and albums from Mississippi bluesman Leo Bud Welch and Oakland’s garage soul combo Shannon and The Clams, Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label has quickly established itself as one to watch. With the release of Marvel’s Solid Gold Sounds, that attention is guaranteed, at least from this corner of the world.