Sad But True – The Secret History of Country Music Songwriting Volume 1 by DELANEY DAVIDSON AND MARLON WILLIAMS [REVIEW]

These two southern men of country have come together to present a jaw-droppingly good collection of both original songs and cover versions that is, simply put, amazing.

Marlon Williams belies his youth with his wary tales of traveling and heart woes; only to be matched by the the life-experienced wisdom of Delaney Davidson. Their songs sit alongside covers like Death Don’t Have No Mercy and Please Don’t Let Me Love You seamlessly. This sounds like it’s a record crafted with blood, sweat, tears and real honest-to-goodness grit.

Opening with the Marlon penned and banjo’d Travelling Creature which just feels so wonderfully anticipatory – I love that it feels like it’s never quite giving you all it’s secrets. Followed closely by the Davidson written Still Her Heart, which offers a warm and weary contrast to the opener.

Lead single – Bloodletter, is co-written by the pair and it’s as heartbreaking on the 100th listen as it was on the first. Their rendition of Reverend Gary Davis’ Death Don’t Have No Mercy is chillingly good; while Please Don’t Let Me Love You is magically heartbreaking over and over again.

For me, it’s the combination, complimentary and yet contrasting voices that is where the magic truly lies in this record; I’ve been listening to the record for a few weeks now – from the get go there was a warm sense of familiarity (beyond, obviously, the well selected covers) – and I’ve come to conclusion, now weeks later, upon returning and repeated listens that the familiarity is that of the human spirit, captured at it’s warmest and rawest of elements in these songs; not only in their composition but also in the well worn performances captured here. – review by Andrew Tidball


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