The latest Bruce Marshall Group CD, “Borrowed Time” features 12 songs that are all about the blues, from Jump to the Delta, the Band is smokin’ hot and the song craft is top notch. The single, “Caught in the Middle” sets the tone with a retro swing groove replete with a call and response chorus that draws the listener in. The title cut is a slow minor blues scorcher with lyrics that explore our fear of mortality and desire to live every day like it’s our last. “Borrowed Time” showcases the tasty fretwork of lead guitarist David Cournoyer, who also engineered and mixed the record.
One of the most compelling songs here is “Devil’s in the Delta” which features Marshall’s gutsiest vocal of the lot. He sings it with an urgency that conveys the hardship and pain felt by those who toiled in the Delta. An infectious acoustic guitar line balanced by Cournoyer’s down and dirty slide grabs you hook line and sinker.
Not a surprise to see this remake of Marshall’s ASCAP Award winning song “If Dreams Were Money”, featuring solos from Dave and Bruce. Recorded by two other artists, Michael Allman and Sonny Tackett, the band wanted to put a new stamp on one of Marshall’s earliest and well known originals.
Blues rock is the order of the day on “Overpaid My Dues”, a (true) story song about “chasin’a dream on the back of a song”. Steve Roberge sells this one on harmonica and the rhythm section of Pete Premo on drums and Glenn DiTommaso on bass drives it all home and throughout this record.
“Smooth Ride Up” is a soulful song with a chorus that stays with you long after you put the record down. Heavily requested at live shows, Denise Cascione does a masterful job on harmony vocals.
The band also included a gorgeous rendition of Santo and Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”, the only cover song in the collection. The guitars go surf here with soaring solos and Steve Roberge’s sax hammers it home.
“Borrowed Time” is a collection of songs from a songwriter in his 44th year of music making. Marshall feels blessed to have an audience still hungry for new music and a band that has honed their style and sound from decades on the road. These 12 songs will take you for a spin down some of those roads and it’s quite a ride!
Musicians: Bruce Marshall –lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, dobro David Cournoyer – electric, slide guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals Steve Roberge – sax, harmonica Glenn DiTommaso – bass Pete Premo – drums Produced by Bruce Marshall ATM Records, Denmark, ME.