REVIEW: Red Marlow – Country As Cornbread FOUR STARS!

Red Marlow came fourth on the US version of The Voice (Season 13) but on the strength of this he maybe should have done better than that. He was, as one might expect, mentored by Blake Shelton, and he may actually be as country as cornbread. Across this album he brings us just about every facet of 21st century country music. From the slightly contrived and a bit too modern sounding for me title track to contemporary ballads like If Every Day Was Sunday Marlow sets the bar pretty high for what a contemporary country album can be these days.

Then he goes and clears that bar with Let There Be Neon. It’s a modern honky tonk killer that lives up to its slow intro in every way. Instantly catchy, it reminds me of Brooks & Dunn at their very best and I’ll bet his former voice mentor wishes he could record something as good as this. I implore you, if you do nothing else, go and buy this track from iTunes, and if digital downloads aren’t your thing it probably is good enough to justify the purchase of a CD. If you were to do that I’d be pretty sure you’d also enjoy Thank God For A Woman which could have been made for George Strait and has a slight Kenny Chesney feel about it even if I found it rather hard to resist trying to sing ‘Thank God For The Radio’. It’s probably more due to the “thank God” words than it is the song itself. Either way, Alan Jackson wouldn’t mind calling it his own methinks.

I wasn’t nearly so keen on the thumping drums that were mixed right up in my face on That’s Where We Live, but I can quite understand why Marlow might have included it. Thankfully, the majority of the album is more restrained in its production and features some well-written songs that could’ve come from 20 years ago. If Every Day Was Sunday is nicely down-homey yet commercial, and the ballad Four Ounces At A Time retreads the familiar theme of drinking someone off your mind in a fresh way. It’s another song that would be at home in George or Alan territory.

Perhaps, if Red Marlow had won The Voice, he might have been bringing us a major label release and all the hype and tour supports that go along with it, but I’m darn sure he wouldn’t have made an album as good as this. Country As Cornbread stands as a fine example of how a new album can be contemporary yet still respect its roots. Of course, personally I’d have liked ten Let There Be Neons but even I realize that to do that might hurt his commercial success. As it stands, Red Marlow has shown up just about every artist on the current Billboard chart with this release. And then there’s Let There Be Neon – did I mention that?

CMP | September 2018 Issue | Duncan Warwick
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#MACCMonday – The Voice’s Red Marlow

This benefit festival for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital features four days and over forty artists joining together to help find an end to childhood cancer. For 2018, the MACC is bringing a young classic country artist to this year’s event. Red Marlow appeared on Season 13 of NBC’s The Voice, and notched a Top 4 finish in the televised singing competition. Mentored by country superstar, Blake Shelton, Red Marlow’s traditional country sound won over fans nationwide. This preacher’s son from northern Alabama grew up singing in church, and even has some bluegrass in his background. Knowing that many bluegrass crowds are also fans of traditional country sounds, seeing artists such as The Malpass Brothers, Mo Pitney, and Gene Watson on festival lineups isn’t entirely uncommon these days, and have provided a nice change of pace during multi-day festivals. The MACC is very excited to welcome Red Marlow to this year’s event, as he joins the fight to help bring an end to childhood cancer.

>LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

‘The Voice’ finalist Red Marlow releases post-show album, lines up tour

Marlow was one of Blake Shelton’s two finalists during the last season of “The Voice,” ultimately coming in fourth. With the ten songs on his new record, he’s continuing to bring a traditional country sound to music fans. Per the album’s press release, the whole effort is about staying true to his roots, to the point where his family’s cornbread recipe will be included on the insert when people order a physical copy of the record from his website. When many artists change their sound or style after appearing on a singing competition, Red Marlow is sticking to what got him on national TV – and that strong sense of self, both musically and in sharing his story, ought to appeal to any listener who’s looking for a great country album.

Full article here