Marc Carroll

Back on to regular grind this evening. This post is all about an Irish artist that I was sort of familiar and had to my detriment had ignored for a long time thinking he was another crooning folk singer-songwriter that are two a penny in this country. My ignorance, however was rectified last week after reading the review for his latest album. (Re) -introducing Marc Carroll. Marc began his career in the Dublin pop-rock band Puppy Love Bomb in the early nineties. After the band broke up, he formed The Hormones. That band was signed to a label but were dropped the day their debut album was released even though they featured on an episode of Friends (Ross’s wedding if you’re curious). What was the label thinking? After this, Marc went solo. He released his debut solo album, “Ten of Swords” through Universal records in 2002. This was followed by “All Wrongs reversed” (a collection of rarities and b-sides) the following year with “World on a wire” in 2005, “Dust of Rumour” in 2009 and “In silence” in 2011 before releasing “Stone Beads and Silver” just last month. His previous catalogue would suggest an artist comfortable in the genre of folk-pop and acoustic pop. Basically his music has a strong pop sentimentality to it. However there are suggestions that Marc has been heading towards the strong americana feeling of the new album “Stone Beads and Silver”. Some of his back catalogue would suggest that he has had this country influence throughout his career which has really flourished now. Tracks like “Nobody’s Child” from All Wrongs Reversed and “What’s Left Of My Heart” (featured below) from the 2011 album “In Silence”. Both tracks along with part of his discography have a Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash feel to them while he has cited Bob Dylan and Hank Williams as influences previously. Marc has predominately played a lot of the instruments on his previous albums. For the latest he has assembled an all-star cast of americana and country legends to work on the record. It’s hard not to be impressed with an album that features musicians like former Levon Helm band leader and Bob Dylan accompanist; Larry Campbell along with McKenzie Smith (Midlake) Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket) and Nelson Bragg and Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson band). It is an impressive cast and the product of their collaboration with Marc is a beautiful collection of warm, luscious melodies perfectly arranged. The first single off the album “It was lust not love” manages to balance the line between pop and americana and has the feel of a real California pop tune. The album opener is “Muskingum River”. With a title suggesting a sombre, dark tale. No cheery songs have been named after rivers, the melody is superbly built up with banjo, steel guitar and cymbals giving it an epic feel until it swells and merges into the steady rhythm of the final minute.
You can find out more about Marc and listen to some of his previous albums on his official website here. There is also the usual Facebook page. Hopefully I will have a full album review for “Stone Beads and Silver” soon. I think it deserves it. Photo: Marccarroll.com

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