Kendell Marvel is—and will always be—a songwriter, but with his new record Solid Gold Sounds, Marvel has found a golden singing voice to match his highly accomplished songcraft. Set for release on October 11th, smack in the middle of a month-long run opening for Chris Stapleton, Solid Gold Sounds finds Marvel rekindling his love for artistry and good, old fashioned country music. C0-produced by Grammy winners Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Dave “Fergie” Ferguson (John Prine, Mac Wiseman, Del McCoury, and more), the new full-length album was, as it usually is for Marvel, an easy-going, collaborative effort. He was written songs with and for Gary Allan, Brothers Osborne, Jamey Johnson, Jake Owen, Lee Ann Womack, George Strait, and Chris Stapleton (including Stapleton’s Grammy-winning song “Either Way”) to name a few. “He’s not craving the stage or craving the spotlight,” says Auerbach, who co-wrote nine of the ten songs on Solid Gold Sounds. “This record comes from a humble place, which I really love.” Today, Rolling Stone premiered the album’s first single “Hard Time with the Truth,” co-written by Marvel, Auerbach, and John Anderson, noting the song and its accompanying video as “a sound that’s at once retro and totally contemporary.” Pre-order Solid Gold Sounds here.
Solid Gold Sounds may be riddled with hard-driving electric guitars and song titles like the aforementioned “Hard Time with the Truth” and “Blood In The Water,” but critics and fans alike would be careless to dismiss Marvel as just an outlaw country rocker. Songs like “When It’s Good” and “Musta Kept It For Himself” give the burly songwriter a chance to shine on his own ballads. Part of Auerbach and Ferguson’s production end-game was to get the best vocal performances out of Marvel for the rockers and the slow numbers. “Kendell has this amazing voice, and when he backs it off a little bit, it opens up and sounds humongous,” Auerbach says. “It’s so resonant and the microphone just eats it up. We got him to sing a little softer on this record, not to actually sound softer, but so we could turn him up louder.” The producers were successful and were left with a finished product that they’ll all be proud of for years to come. “They brought the singer back out of me,” Marvel says. “I’ll always be a songwriter, but I want people to see the artistic side of me.”
From “Hard Time with the Truth” to “Cadillac’n” to “Roots of My Raisin” and in every nook and cranny in between, Kendell Marvel has wrapped his story in song and delivered it beautifully and eloquently on a silver platter for his fans to indulge. “As a professional songwriter, you have to get on the radio. That’s your job,” he explains. “There came a time when the stuff you had to write to get on the radio, I wasn’t willing to do anymore. I’d done pretty well as a songwriter up until that point, and made a few decisions where I didn’t have to put myself in that position. So I said, ‘I think I’ll make a record.’"