Lisa Marshall - Stay Right Here (2013)

Lisa Marshall
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You see that Lisa Marshall operates out of Austin, and then you hear her muscular brand of soul and blues with a little country mixed in and Janis Joplin immediately comes to mind. Marshall does count Joplin as a musical influence along with soul music royalty such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Gladys Knight – singers she heard while listening to her parents’ vinyl. Marshall’s parents raised her in Virginia Beach. From there Marshall moved to Seattle before eventually settling in Austin. She likely heard plenty of country, soul, blues and rock along the way. Marshall incorporates all of those influences into the classic sound heard on Stay Right Here.

You see that Lisa Marshall operates out of Austin, and then you hear her muscular brand of soul and blues with a little country mixed in and Janis Joplin immediately comes to mind. Marshall does count Joplin as a musical influence along with soul music royalty such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Gladys Knight – singers she heard while listening to her parents’ vinyl. Marshall’s parents raised her in Virginia Beach. From there Marshall moved to Seattle before eventually settling in Austin. She likely heard plenty of country, soul, blues and rock along the way. Marshall incorporates all of those influences into the classic sound heard on Stay Right Here.

While Marshall ended up in Austin, the sounds of Detroit, Chicago and Memphis inform the album’s input. Memphis turns up on tracks such as “The Best Is Yet To Come.” The tune’s arrangement calls to mind the sound created by Isaac Hayes during his salad days at Stax when he was making songs that combined deep funk with orchestral violins and flutes. Marshall’s emotive vocals strike compliments the distorted guitar riffs, strings and funky bass line.

The upbeat “I Bet It’s The Same” has a message of social justice and equality that is a recurring theme of many of Marshall’s songs. She encourages listeners to use their time on earth to strive for understanding and tolerance. It’s a message that Marshall drives home, ending the song by taking the listener to a tent revival with a fast paced call-and-response ending.

Marshall commitment to human rights and encouraging the discouraged comes through on cuts such as “Don’t Give Up.” This mid-tempo funk number is Marshall’s recognition that change does not happen overnight. She knows that people might become frustrated with the one step forward/two steps back nature of change, and this track can be seen as a pep talk to those struggling for a host of causes – from climate change to equality issues.

Marshall has a point of view, but she combines her power packed vocals with lyrics that have a universal appeal. When she sings “Please don’t give your hope away/Cuz there’s strength in numbers/Woah yeah,” on “Don’t Give Up” she expresses a sentiment that can be embraced by people with any dog in any fight. That might not be Marshall’s intent. But, with Stay Right Here, Lisa Marshall has put together a combination of these insightful lyrics along with solid tunes and vocals that a lot of people will relate to as if this album was made just for them. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

 

 
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