A few months ago most people in the audience at London's Koko on Friday night wouldn't have been too familiar with the name Kendell Marvel. For the last 20 years Marvel has been writing song for some of Nashville's biggest names and is about to take centre stage himself. The native of southern Illinois was about to make sure that in the space of half hour with nothing but a gravelly country blues voice and a guitar the crowd would be remembering his name and talking about his set.
As Marvel stepped onto the stage he had the aim of introducing the crowd to some old school country music and started off with a track from his album that many in the crowd would have heard of. Chris Stapleton used Untangle My Mind which the pair co-wrote on his latest album too. Marvel continued his set with more music from his upcoming album with Heartache Off My Back, Marvel’s favourite track from the record Hurtin Gets Hard and Tryin Not To Love You. Marvel then returned to his songwriting back catalogue to introduce the story behind Stapleton’s Grammy winning Either Way. Marvel also performed Gary Allan’s top 5 hit Right Where I Need To Be from back in 2000. To finish off the set Marvel returned to his new album with Gypsy Woman and the title track which was co-written by Randy House, Lowdown & Lonesome.
As Kendell Marvel left the Koko stage he did exactly what Brothers Osborne would have wanted him to do - get the London crowd ready for a big night of country music and all he needed was a guitar. We can only hope that this first experience of performing in England will only encourage Marvel to return as soon as possible.
Marvel's Lowdown and Lonesome album will be released in the UK on 18th May.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks