l songwriter l musician
Name Is Sparkle is the latest release from Marvin Etzioni on
It's his heaviest album, but its also, in
a peculiar way, his sweetest -like Phil Spector orchestrating a
George Saunders story. Most of us may relate. It's post US election,
and some of us are going through what Etzioni calls a "spiritual
flu." We all could use some time to rest, heal, and listen
to My Name is Sparkle.
On this album you will hear arrangements reminiscent of the George
Martin. The album draws you in with clever instrumentation and though
provoking lyrics. Like all good albums, this album grows on you.
Yes, there are surprises sprinkled here and there ranging from Lennon-esque
tunes to spars, at times gritty production, to suite the modern
On Marvin Country, there's country, there's alt. country
and there's Marvin Country! It's a magical place, some way off the
map, populated by back-porch philosophers, hobos, broken hearted
lovers and spacemen, and presided over by the man the L.A. Times
called "one heck of a songwriter" and Billboard compared
to Bob Dylan and John Lennon. Marvin Country was released in 2012
on Nine Mile Records.
Etzioni, "For me the real country writers are Leonard Cohen
and Dylan, or Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder, or Charles Aznavour and
Jacques Brel. To quote Merle Haggard, I wear my own kinda hat."
is the ambitious fourth solo album by a man already revered in Americana
circles - among many things, he co-founded the pioneering L.A roots
rock band Lone Justice, writing some of its finest songs. The 19
songs on this double CD are variously original, traditional, tender,
quirky, emotional and wise. There's backporch country, barroom weepers,
clapboard-church gospel, haunting folk, dusty blues and songs for
which a genre's not yet been named.
On some of them
Marvin goes it alone; a multi-instrumentalist, he plays mandolin,
mandocello, guitar, bass, piano, Mellotron, porchboard and keyboards.
Others feature a distinguished cast of guests - including duets
with Lucinda Williams (a heart-wrenching Lay It On The Table), Steve
Earle (Ain't No Work In Mississippi), Richard Thompson (It Don't
Cost Much), Buddy Miller (Living Like A Hobo), John Doe (The Grapes
Of Wrath), Maria McKee (You Possess Me) and The Dixie Hummingbirds,
who add their uplifting harmonies to You Are The Light, a reprise
of the Americana classic Etzioni wrote for Lone Justice's acclaimed
Some are born
to country. Some, like Marvin, have country thrust upon them - in
the form of the mandolin his grandfather, a country music-loving
Polish Jew, gave him when he was eight years old. More than four
decades later, the Mandolin Man, as he was now known, had Keith
Richards autograph it when they played together in the Sin City
All Stars band at a tribute to Gram Parsons.
Born in Brooklyn
and raised in L.A., Marvin formed his first band The Model in 1976;
Bruce Springsteen's producer Chuck Plotkin was among its fans. But
Marvin took another direction, becoming a solo acoustic singer-songwriter
- this in the early '80s when everyone played synth pop or heavy
metal - before, mid-decade, co-founding Lone Justice with Maria
McKee. Musical differences had him setting off on his own path again.
As a record
producer, musician, co-writer and/or live performer Marvin has worked
Toad the Wet Sprocket, Counting Crows, Dixie Chicks, T Bone Burnett,
U2, Tom Petty,
Lili Haydn, Cheap Trick, Roy Orbison and Bo Diddley, to name a few.
In the '90s
Marvin released three solo albums, The Mandolin Man (1991), Bone
(1992) and Weapons Of The Spirit (1994), which were lavished with
praise by the press. And now at last he's back, with Marvin Country!,
an album full of ghosts and full of life, and with songs inspired
by faith, love, hope, The Great Depression, Dylan, Kurt Vonnegut
and Harry Teitelbaum, Marvin's grandfather, to whom the album's
Current Credits: Jonah Tolchin's Clover Lane is produced
by Marvin Etzioni and engineered by Anderson East in Nashville.
The album includes musicians Chris Scruggs, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos),
John McCauley (Deer Tick), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson), and more.
It was mixed in Silverlake, California with Sheldon Gomberg (Charlie
Musselwhite, Ben Harper) released on Yep Roc Records on July 1,
l-r: During recording
of "My Summer Song" at Sunset Sound Factory: Lonni Sill,
Crossley, Asher Lenz (standing), engineer Steven Rhodes and
producer Marvin Etzioni (sitting).
By The C