Marshall Dane is a newer country singer/songwriter who just might have his finger on the pulse of new American-born country music despite being Canadian. His latest release, One Of These Days, contains 12-tracks of his personal blend of country and rock.
Here Dane leads the way on acoustic guitar and vocals. He is backed by other artists including: Corey Thompson (drums), Jeff Fountain (bass), Mike Bonnell (piano and B3), Doug Johnson (pedal steel) and Shane Guse (fiddle). The album opens on a Chuck Jones/Fred Wilhelm song titled “Take You Home To Mama”.
It has elements of a country single yet with a lyrical twist. Those familiar with yours truly can certainly appreciate lines like: “I want to take you home to mama when mama’s not home.” Yeah, that sure takes a page from your rascally writer’s book. (If you miss the point then you need to start reading the old stuff so you can catch up on the cleverness, mmmkay?)
The second selection is “I’ll Be Your Whiskey”. This takes “Critic’s Choice” as not only is it a stand out mid-tempo track but it also tells a tale similar to one your randy writer could confess. Written by Ryan Griffin, Jason Matthews and Emily Shackelton, it features Suzie McNeil (backing vocals) and Dan Brodbeck (electric guitar, banjo, percussion and piano).
The next number, written by Dane, Elisha Hoffman and Rebecca Lynn Howard, is “Till I Get To You”. It includes more country rock ingredients and there is already a consistency to his signature sound. It’s quickly followed by “Stay Up Late” which includes a tip of the hat to Otis Redding and an encore by McNeil. “I can hardly wait . . . to go to bed early and stay up late.” (Yeah, that’s the way to do it!) It’s written by Ben Hayslip, Sonya Isaacs and Jimmy Yeary.
“Not Today” follows here. This was written by Clay Davidson and Willie Mack. Dane’s musical consistency is again obvious. It is, however, overshadowed by the titular “One Of These Days” which is also a single off the offering. It’s an early fan favorite with a noteworthy melody.
“Living It Up”, composed by Marty Dodson, Jason Sellers and Yeary, has some edge to it and moves well. The idea behind this drinking song may not be new here but this is country music and Dane owns it. He demonstrates his softer side with “How Do I Get There From Her” by Sam Hunt, Matthews and Shackelton which reflects on a hard luck tale of a failed relationship. McNeil and Brodback return.
He musically moves from a poor pairing to alcohol abuse on (duh) “Alcohol Abuse”. This one was written by Kim Williams and Billy Yates. It’s actually a great drinking song that must be fun to perform and see live in person. It’s the current single and makes one wonder if Dane isn’t secretly sponsored by the Jack Daniels Brewery what with the multiple references on the CD.
“Why Can’t I Leave” is next. This is another slow one that demonstrates Dane’s softer side. (“Why Can’t I Leave?” Good question. Didn’t you do that a couple tracks ago?) McNeil is back again with her backing vocals. It was co-written with Brian Allen and David Leask.
Also included here is “Work It Out”. This one was co-composed with Steve Pasche and Wallace. McNeil returns one last time as well.
The closing cut is “Forever Girl”. It’s an apt album end-note Dane did with Willie Mack. Dane elaborated on the song choices here saying: “One Of These Days is about how I deal with the curves life throws,” says Marshall. “It’s not really about where I’ve been but more so about where I am now…where I wanna go…and how I’m gonna get there, wherever ‘there’ is.“
Overall, Marshall Dane’s One Of These Days is a disc you should listen to even if you have to “Stay Up Late”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.