An Interview With The Musician KENDELL MARVEL On His Latest Solo Album, Working With Black Keys Dan Auerbach On It and More!
For decades, Kendell Marvel has given so much to the world of country music without ever asking for a return, but now the universe has seen it fit to bless him with a late-in-life career. After years of persisting behind the scenes, instances like writing a Grammy-winning song for Chris Stapleton are coming back around as Marvel readies the release of his new album, “Solid Gold Sounds,” and hits the road for an extended run of arena shows supporting Stapleton.
“These songs had to tell the story about Kendell and his life as a songwriter,” says Dan Auerbach, guitar slinger for the Black Keys and co-producer of Solid Gold Sounds. “He’s not craving the stage or craving the spotlight. This record comes from a humble place, which I really love.”
Learn more about Kendell Marvel in the following All Access interview-
Thanks for your time today! What does a typical day look like lately? Where does this interview find you today?
On the road there’s a lot of downtime. It’s normally just hangin’ and eatin’ until sound check and showtime. This week we are out on tour with Chris Stapleton and Bros Osborne. It’s a blast so far!
Since we are nearing the end of 2019, what has this year been like for you and your music? What are some goals you had for yourself? What are you looking forward to in 2020?
2019 has been very fun and busy. The goal this year was to get the record ready for release and be ready for this tour. Record comes out next week and we started the tour this weekend. Both goals are bein’ realized in the same month. I am really excited for people to get to hear this new record and looking forward to touring this year and next.
Growing up, how important was music in your household? When do you think you realized that you were going to be a musician? Could you ever picture yourself doing anything else?
Music was a constant around my house growing up. My dad had a big vinyl collection and played guitar with his buddies every weekend. I knew from an early age music was what I was gonna do hell or high water. I really didn’t have a choice it was all I was good at. There was no plan B
I’ve had a few jobs but they were always temporary. Fishing for sure. I would want to be a fishing guide or something where I got to fish all day. 🙂
What has surprised you the most about being a musician? What have been the challenges?
Just being able to make a living! Ha! It’s always a challenge to keep trying to reinvent yourself musically.
Can you talk about being with your label Easy Eye? How did you get to work with Black Keys‘ member Dan Auerbach?
Being a part of such a cool label like Easy Eye is very flattering to me. I mean I am gonna be 49 next week. Not many labels are interested in an older dude. Especially a label that is built on cool. Dave Ferguson who co produced my record with Dan introduced us and it just fell in to place. They allow me to just be me.
We just wanted to make an album of great songs with a band of badass musicians. Auerbach is a musical genius in my book. He makes me sound way better than I ever have.
Can you talk about the new album? What are some of your favorite tracks on this collection?
I love all these songs but Must’ve Kept It For Himself is probably my favorite. I’ve been married to my wife Randa for 28 years so the song comes from that. Cadillac’n is another favorite of mine. Really vibey – feelin- song I wrote with Auerbach and Paul Overstreet. There is a line in that song that says Solid Gold Sounds so that’s where the album title comes from.
Where can people see you perform next?
Yeah we got a busy fall for sure. Check out my website for dates to see when I’m comin’ near ya. (http://www.kendellmarvel.com/)
How do you think that you have grown as a musician over the years?
I feel that I’ve definitely grown since I first started making music 20+ years ago. In this business you have to grow or you get left behind.
What do you think of social media these days? How has it affected your career?
I’m not too savvy with social media though I sometimes get in trouble on Twitter ;). My daughter Shelby handles my socials and helps manage me when I start causing trouble. Social media has for sure got my name out there and I think has exposed me and my music to a lot of people.
Who are some of your all-time favorite musicians? Who continues to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with if given the opportunity?
A lot of em are gone. Haggard, Jones, Waylon Jennings. The ones who are still around Willie, Kristofferson, Hank Jr, Randy Travis, John Anderson and so on. I It would be an honor to work with any of those guys. I had the privilege of writing “Hard Time with the Truth” off of Solid Gold Sounds with John Anderson and Dan Auerbach. Was the first time I’ve been a little intimidated walking into a write! But he was cool as shit and of course he’s one talented dude too. Loved getting to work with him.
Where would you love to shoot your dream music video?
Somewhere on an island for about a month would be a great way to do a video I think- ha.
At the end of the day, what do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I hope it makes em smile, laugh, cry whatever makes em feel better. Just want to make music that affects people and makes them feel like they’re not alone.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about yourself or your music?
Would like to let whoever is reading this know that there are a lot of folks like me out here making music that aren’t on the radio. So go out and support live music whether it be me or whoever.