Sign Up for the Newsletter!
Subversive Blues - a Review

'The musical chameleon known as Marcus Singletary returns with his most politically charged album to date, "Subversive Blues." The new ten-song release begins with the sound of arguments that will have you drawing your own conclusions as to what is being said and recorded. The short synthesizer instrumental "Astronaut's Daughter" and voice affects experiment "Bonnie Wright" has you wondering which direction this album is headed, but the back-porch blues of "That's The Way It Is" showcases Marcus' pure talents. He expands his sound with the atmospheric tones of "Blessing Of The Guru" and the work-day chant of "My Slave Life." The album finishes with his return to the confrontation of "Dead Cops And Starfighters" as a political rally turns into a great musical instrumental that leads into the soundscape of "The Hero Returns Home." -Jim Pasinski

Web: http://jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com/2016/03/cd-review-new-releases-arriving-from.html

About the Album

Subversive Blues may seem, to some, a return to the musical forms that established Marcus Singletary's career, early on.  But those in the know are aware of the irony of such expectations as, here, Singletary - the crime fighting leader of the Starfighter United Front special forces unit - is pitted directly against agents of cultural subversion in an effort to save the universe from destruction.  He wards off a large gang of Mexican illegals in 'Stand Your Ground,' sings of freedom in the a cappella 'My Slave Life,' and wages war versus fascists in 'Dead Cops and Starfighters' - a five-part epic inspired by the works of indie film director Will Zens (the album marks the very first instance of a parental advisory warning sticker being affixed to a Singletary recording.)


Musically, Subversive Blues contains tight grooves and many expansions of roots music's usual boundaries.  'Sex Blues' represents unprecedented carnality for the genre, ‘That’s the Way it Is' provides a confident blast off (or kiss off, depending upon your interpretation) and, elsewhere, the blues is utilized as a launching pad for orbital adventures that include the buzzing, electronic drone of 'Astronaut's Daughter' and the majestic, orchestral grace of 'White Rose Morningside.' The bass tenor of 'Blessing of the Guru' questions religion, and 'The Hero Returns Home' concludes the affair with an orgasmic jolt.


Its cover image depicts the Bird of Subversion - a mythical character rumored to have frantically circled the skies of Washington, D.C. just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War as a sign of impending doom.  'It appears during times of great division and strife, as it did in the late Sixties as well,' Singletary recalls.  Is there any wonder why the animal has reappeared today?