Bob Marston

REVIEW: Bob Marston and The Credible Sources Provide a Musical Journey with “So Long”


Like a lot of artists, Bob Marston started singing when he was very young. Also like a lot of artists, he found himself reflecting and creating during the isolation of COVID-19. That burst of creativity coupled with the re-opening of venues allowed Marston the chance to put a band together for the first time in years, leading to the formation of The Credible Sources.

Bob Marston and The Credible Sources is a band that wouldn’t be easily filed in a record store. They are part roots rock, soul, and even a little jazz. No matter the style of the song, So Long provides plenty of opportunities to groove and sing along.

It doesn’t take long to realize that Bob Marston and The Credible Sources are taking you on a musical journey with this album. The opening song “By the Way” is an uptempo song that mixes rock and soul. The horns and the rock and roll piano brings to mind some of  Bob Seger’s catalog. It’s the kind of song that you might want to blare from your car when you’re on a road trip. It also gives you some idea of how Marston can turn a phrase like when he sings, “We were friends for years before I said ‘Let’s just be lovers.’”

“Real Magic, Good People” has a completely different vibe than the opener. It has something of a reggae/jam band vibe with an irresistibly bouncy melody that is sure to put a smile on your face. The song is an ode to Marston’s hometown. Of the song, he said, “The first half of each verse presents my attempt to balance my love of Birmingham with what I had, at the time, recently learned about her history of labor injustice, including convict-leasing and union-busting. The chorus is a rallying cry to believe in ourselves and our potential as a community, realizing that for all of our differences we share more in common.” It’s a good message, and not just for the residents of Birmingham. On top of that, it is a song that is sure to boost your mood whenever you’re feeling like you’re not at the top of your game.

That jam band vibe comes through in other songs. “Pick up Your Guitar” is a fine example. The overall vibe in this one is similar to The Grateful Dead. The guitar tone especially brings The Dead to mind. Plus, it’s an uptempo tune, so it’s easy to imagine a bunch of people in tie-dyed shirts busting a move to this one.

The band even dips into a bit of a ragtime sound with “Sundays” with the clarinet, trumpet, and piano. This is a fittingly easygoing song considering it’s about the days that we all like to hope are lazy days. At the beginning, he sings, “Sundays are for fishin’, sleepin’ late, and wishin’ you’ll find yourself somewhere else some Sunday down the road.” Even if you don’t go to church regularly, don’t be surprised if you answer that sentiment with a resounding “Amen!”

So Long by Bob Marston and The Credible Sources is a solid debut album. The band shows that they can shift gears from one style to another while providing a soundtrack that is just as good for a road trip as it is for the easy Sunday mornings they sing about. The album will be available everywhere on June 3. Order your copy here:

Bob Marston – acoustic and electric guitar, lead vocals
George Hipp – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro, backing vocals
Natalie Valentine – backing vocals
Aaron Branson – bass
Eric Onimus – bass
Brett Huffman – drums
Matt Slocum – keyboards
LaToya Matthews – vocals
Adrian Marmolejo – bass
Chad Fisher – trombone
Alan Branstetter – trumpet
Gary Wheat – saxophone, clarinet
Adam Purvis – violin
Niamh Tuohy – violin
Melanie Richardson-Rogers – viola
Patty Pillon – cello

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