Ira Marlowe
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Ira Marlowe


Band Americana Acoustic


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Ira Marlowe @ The Monkey House Theater

Berkeley, CA

Berkeley, CA

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It's very rare to hear a CD which is both immediately accessible (i.e. catchy) and yet has a depth and complexity which makes is sound better and better with each subsequent listen. Marlowe's voice is vaguely reminiscent of Michael Stipe or Sting in tonal quality, but there is a very distinct personality which comes through his phrasing and enunciation, the sound of someone facing the hardships of life with wry, self-deprecating humor. Great lyrics, melodies, arrangements. In a perfect world, this is a platinum record.

Though he's been writing and recording for years...this is most likely the album that will introduce the public at large to the music of Ira Marlowe. For anyone who ever enjoyed John Cale at his peak...or even The Blue Nile's first will most certainly get a major charge out of the material on Save the Day. Marlowe writes material that comes straight from his heart. His compositions are smart and instantly memorable...and the arrangements are always exact and perfectly suited for the material. Marlowe's vocals sound very much like the previously mentioned Cale...although his songs have a depth and honest nature sadly missing in most of John's later efforts. Ira Marlowe is, without a doubt, one of the most talented (and virtually unknown) songwriters we've heard in years. His ability to write melodies that stick in the mind is amazing. And his ability to transfer his ideas and feelings through his music is 100% effective and real. Top notch tunes such as "Arielle", "Living With Robots", and "Troublesome Sky" make this album a superb spin from start to finish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -

With vocals that can't decide whether to be driving at hope or resigned to dejection, coupled with a warm and resonant mix of Folk
and Pop styles that flitter between Jazz-touched and
Americana-touched sonicism, you might detect simiarlities from R.E.M.
to Sting to James Taylor but the singular voice of Marlowe penetrates
with well-blended subtleties, making for an altogether curiously
charming album, both openly vulnerable yet proudly self-contained.
Listen after listen, it continues to grow on you.
--Tamara Turner, CD Baby Music Editor/Reviewer -

Nothing puts a singer-songwriter show in perspective like walking into a dimly lit, low-ceilinged cafe right after leaving a music-industry frying pan like last week's NARM convention. The transition from big money, hundreds of drinking schmoozers and the radio-retail machine to free entertainment, a few dedicated fans and friends, and artists selling their own CDs came as a welcome shock. An intimate show like Ira Marlowe's at Sacred Grounds is a reminder that, when stripped down to its core, music is really about a performer, an instrument and an audience. Even though he claimed he was going hoarse, Marlowe's voice was as powerful as it was ragged. That and his affable demeanor enabled him to take the crowd on a journey through his colorful world of passé gods, Gen X slackers, and medieval prophets.

Though his melodies and guitar playing were more than commendable, Marlowe really shone in his storytelling. In "Old Zeus", an up-tempo, wry conversation with the Big Guy, he sang, "Look at all the skinny gods who stole your thunder / Look at the almighty one I loved and feared / with pain in his eyes and food in his beard." Smiling and laughing with the crowd, Marlowe was equally comfortable delivering introspective songs such as "Losertown", a serious, almost angry piece in which he lambastes twentysomething, keepin'-it-real-in-the-Mission hipsters: "This low-rent life is gettin' so fashionable / Yeah, but I was on the floor before / these new suburban social divers / came along and cluttered up the scene / And I was going nowhere / back when nowhere wasn't such a place to be."

It's too bad there aren't larger venues for singer-songwriters to perform in, because Marlowe's charisma and talent are exactly what music industry marketers are trying to cultivate like a test-tube baby. The real thing is gestating right under their noses and they don't even see it. (Kate Howser)
- San Francisco Bay Guardian


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...