Marshall Rhodes

Marshall Rhodes

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Marshall Rhodes Review

by Jason MacNeil

Featuring members of former San Francisco area band Borderline, Marshall Rhodes isn't a loud guitar-based group but instead one that tends to take their good old time getting started. This is the case with the leadoff tune "La' Pontchartrain" that builds slowly into a swinging kind of country tune that sounds like Pirates of the Mississippi. A similar approach with the laid-back, mid-tempo "Brand New Coat of Paint" that has as much folk as it does country feel. And the group doesn't try to push the boundaries, especially on the pretty, Americana-sounding "This Perfect World," which brings to mind a classic Blue Rodeo tune circa "Five Days in July." Perhaps the first highlight though comes during the slightly up-tempo "In the Name of God" that isn't a gospel tune but seems like it was picked straight from Mark Knopfler's back pocket. Another pretty ditty is the simple, tender ballad titled "When You Dance." The group doesn't stray from this format with another surprisingly good tune coming down the pipe with the bouncy, catchy, pedal steel-accented "Love, That's the Way It Goes" featuring a bit of banjo from main songwriter and singer Glenn Burke. The lone effort where the band seems out of their element is the poppy country groove on "Learning to Fly," which is a tad too slick or radio-friendly for the record. Fortunately it's the exception to the rule of quality tunes such as the slow, shuffling Dixieland of "Kay Marie" that revolves around a trek to New Orleans.

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