Doc Marshalls – Recommended! (Audio/Video files included)

Audio Link: Woman Knows No Heartache

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Doc Marshalls – No Kind of Life

Formed in Brooklyn (yeah, that Brooklyn) in 2001, The Doc Marshalls quickly made a name for themselves performing their electrifying and highly energetic live shows in converted roadhouses throughout the NYC/Metro area (yeah, they do exist). They perform a mix of unflinching honky tonk as channeled through their influences that range from Buck Owens to Johnny Cash to Dwight Yoakam, along with Cajun breakdowns and Zydeco shuffles. The band is comprised of Acadian Texas-raised transplant Nick Beaudoing (songwriter, lead vocals, diatonic accordion, acoustic and electric guitar), Mat Kane (fiddle), Terence Murren (bass) and Doug Clark (drums).

No Kind Of Life is the band’s debut full-length album and since it’s release, has been steadily climbing the Americana charts. Nick Beaudoing has composed ten gems for the album that range from Bakersfield shuffles featuring tales of heartache and drinking away the pain, to traditional Cajun French two-steps where the band switches to French patois, fiddle and accordion. Providing additional musical support in the studio are, Henry Hample (second fiddle), Rob Segal (pedal steel) and Will Solomon (lead guitar).

The strong opener “Woman Knows No Heartache,” is a traditional Bakersfield honky tonker about a woman who won’t settle down much to the chagrin of the man who’s in love with her. Another standout is the title track, “No Kind Of Life,” a fiddle drenched two-stepper that tells the tale of a guy drinking away his broken heart. An up-tempo melody belies the tale of a guy trying to get over a shattered relationship in the steel driven honky tonker, “Feel No Pain.” Great harmonies and stellar fiddle work are featured on the mid-tempo “The Next Best Thing.” A dusty western flavor runs though “Half Asleep,” that describes a man struggling with getting over a lost love. They crank things up with another outstanding traditional Bakersfield shuffle, “Reckless Heart,” about a man who decides stop letting his heart stop doing his thinking. The album closes with a quietly reflective, pretty acoustic ballad, “But I Heard,” that finds a guy finally realizing what he had and then regretting letting go of the woman he loves.

Laced through the album’s honky tonkers is their Cajun French patois fare. The lovely “N’Oublie-Moi Pas” is a traditional two-stepper that warns the woman who’s leaving him that someday she’ll regret her decision. The raucous Zydeco “Bon a Rien” finds a henpecked husband pleading with his wife to lighten up on him. “Je Suis Gone” is a beautiful, but mournful waltz that tells of a lost love and the unending heartache that remains in its aftermath.

Nick’s songwriting, vocal and instrumental skills are all beyond approach. Add in the fiddling wizardry of Mat Kane, a solid rhythm section provided by Terrence and Doug, along with exquisite harmony vocals and you’ve got a very formidable and diverse band that’s sure to please just about everyone with a taste for great music. My only complaint is that they only included 10 tracks on No Kind Of Life. Other than that though, The Doc Marshalls have most definitely released a riveting, eclectic and masterfully produced album that only leaves you wanting more.

Standout Tracks: “Woman Knows No Heartache,” “No Kind Of Life,” N’Oublie-Moi Pas,” “Half Asleep,” “Reckless Heart,” “Bon a Rein,” “Je Suis Gone,” “But I Heard”

On The Net:

For those just discovering The Doc Marshalls through No Kind Of Life, be sure to visit their website where you can download the tracks from their equally outstanding EP, that includes a killer cover of Willie’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” and three other stellar Cajun delicacies, “Les Flemmes d’Enfer,” “Madeleine,” and “J’ai Passe’ Devant Ta Porte.”

AnnMarie Harrington TakeCountryBack  

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