Philip Marino “Days Like These” (Independent, 2017)

Philip Marino is an American singer-songwriter living in England, Essex to be precise. Here is a simple case of our gain and their loss. Days Like These was recorded in New York’s Catskills Mountains, and produced by a man from the area, Simon Felice. Beautifully produced, as one would expect with Felice having something to do with it, the 5-track release has both Simone and his brother, James Felice contribute. Simon plays drums, percussion and harmony vocals, while James’ harmonium, piano, organ, accordion, synthesizer and harmony vocals form a solid working bass. Anna Sauchuk likewise lends vocal support to Marino (guitar), and doesn’t his guitar sound good.

Marino’s opening tracks of Everybody Knows and arguably better still Hand Grenade set a high benchmark, and though he struggles a little to match the beauty or general evocative feel on the next two songs (Days Like These and Hero; and they are still good! In fact the former could well be the best track on the record) he isn’t too far away with the restless, ever probing Long Road as he speaks mystically of life’s uncertain journey. Back to Everybody Knows – on opening with nothing but acoustic guitar and female harmony vocals the track has a simple and beautiful feel, one that would be hard to match. Hand Grenade is more dramatic and with his impassioned vocals warmed in a flowing melody featuring accordion a fine balance is struck. The character in the song finds himself running from his sins and whatever he started.

I can’t wait to hear from Marino; a wonderfully cultured singer-songwriter, the likes of whom we need to lend more support.

Author: Maurice Hope

Work for CEF, live in Hexham, Northumberland. Americana, country, folk and bluegrass Journalist since 1988 and currently write for Americana-UK.com, Flyinshoes and live reviews for Northern Echo and Jumpin’ Hot Club. Enjoy photography, walking, natural history, travel, reading and writing poetry.

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