REVIEW: DL Marble’s “One Line at a Time” is Heart on His Sleeve


Continuing the Tempe Arizona legacy mixed with a dose of Brooklyn production sensibility, One Line at a Time by DL Marble delivers emotive easy insights over potent musical precision. Like the perfect mixed drink, Marble is part balladeer and part superhero and wears his heart on his sleeve through every song on the album. With his seasoned backing band plus Eric “Roscoe” Ambel’s guitar work and production, this album is magnificent.

“Undefeated” is a pure heartbreaker.  “Life is a straight line against our will, it don’t give a damn” marks this sweetly sad song about the crush of mortality and shielding your kids. This one has a pretty guitar solo by Ambel.

“Same Damn Thing” is one of those philosophical songs that digs for the basic meaning of life, “cause everybody’s out here looking for the same damn thing.” “We all keep swinging to just strike out.” There are brilliant keys and a classic buildup that’ll make you want to reach across the aisle and hug your neighbor on the barstool beside you.

“Chasing You” again covers emotionally genuine territory as the protagonist watches his lover leaving without saying goodbye. “I sure as hell ain’t chasing you” crystallizes the bitter feel on this one with electric guitars, emphatic harmonies and an ironic wiggle stick backdrop.

“Break Even” is a soul searching contribution with pain dotting the landscape metaphors, as Marble’s vocals crack with wavering emotion: “hearts don’t break even every time, especially when you kept both sides.” Ambel’s harmonies amplify the mood, and punctuated electric guitar weaves the broken hearted sorrow, with pedal steel peeking through the melody like the distant sun in a heavy storm.

“One Line At a Time” is the storylines of a life; and this is another one rich with super fancy electric guitar work a la Eric Ambel. Listen to the compelling groove on repeat on this one.

“Ocean Beach” is a love song. It’s you, the sun, and the ocean beach. But so much more loss. Hallmarks of Marble’s songwriting soul.

“California Memory” captures two hearts in the fleetingly wrong moment like two ships passing in the night in clear images of what might have been, but could not have been. 

The songwriting uses simple innocent imagery that immediately breaks your heart. The production quality is clear as a bell with electric guitar nibbling behind the melodies, inviting you to kick back and listen.

The album personnel is DL Marble on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel on backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitar; Roger Singleton on electric guitar; A.D. Adams on drums and percussion; Paul Williams on bass and Gigi Dixon on keys. It was mastered by Richard Dodd and engineered by Mario Viele.  Get your copy here:

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