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Red Tornado

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Album Review

Leigh Marble may be loosely labeled as folk at the local CD mart, but folk no longer means a young man beatin' on his old guitar and doing his best imitation of an elderly tobacco farmer from rural North Carolina. Marble's vocals, in fact, sound much more influenced by studio trickery (read poppy) than Dylan's ever were, and he relies on everything from violins to organs to shakers to pianos to build a rich, varied backdrop for his songs. And whatever one may choose to call the songs that fill Red Tornado (neo-folk, post-traditional, or simply "cool"), the innovative arrangements win the listener by building evocative soundscapes perfectly suited for Marble's lyrics. It's difficult not to like lines like, "the American dream I had last night was a bad dream" from "Lucky Bastards," or the tossed off acoustic-electric arrangement-mix for "On Your Way." The latter part of the album grows overly mellow, with songs like "The Big Words" and "Strip the Bed" running over four minutes and overstaying their welcome. The original folk-pop-rock elements, at some point, also seem to fall into more familiar musical schemes. This, however, does nothing to bar the enjoyment and originality of Marble's accomplishments on the first half of Red Tornado. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Leigh Marble's music is based in traditional folk, filtered through an eclectic blend of folk-rock, punk, hip-hop, and indie influences for a sound his press kit describes as a cross between Tom Waits and Fugazi, though Ani DiFranco, Beck, G. Love & Special Sauce, and various members of the anti-folk scene are also useful touchstones. Raised in New England, Marble graduated from Brown University in 1997 and immediately moved to the artistically friendly climes of Portland, OR, spurred...
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Red Tornado, Leigh Marble
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