Gold Star, the moniker for singer-songwriter Marlon Rabenreither, was someone we just stumbled across during out latest SXSW adventure. For someone who meticulously plans his SXSW; it’s still nice to wander into a venue having with no expectations and be blown away.
Gold Star took the stage on the Thursday night backed by his excellent band and the troubador produced a wonderful set of easy-going twang. At the conclusion of his set, I was happy to learn that Big Blue was being released right after SXSW. And I’m even happier to state, that it lives up the billing of his set. Rabenreither’s music comes across as genuine and soulful, without ever coming across as overdone or over-produced.
The tune below, Sonny’s Blues, really reminds me of the early Wilco days. Rabenreither’s lyrics remind me Tweedy’s observational side. And musically, it could slip onto Being There without a second thought.
I felt sunlight shine right between my eyes/I’ve seen lightning strikes my whole life/I felt the stars outside shining in my veins/I met the big blue light face to face.
Rabenreither also mines heartbreak on a few tracks. My favorite among the bunch being Deptford High St. with the lyrics,
But I left her standing, somewhere on Signal hill, I left my baby, you know she is there still, she is there still.
All told, this is wonderfully written, wonderfully produced and wonderfully executed album. I’d make it a point to take in a set if the opportunity arises.
Gold Star is here