First Listen: Marlon McClain and Nathaniel Star give us a "Gift"

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    (June 21, 2022) Guitarist and songwriter Marlon McClain knows music can be used to inspire. McClain is an original member of the band Pleasure and he’s been a solo artist and songwriter.

    McClain played on Pleasure’s biggest hit, the 1979 funk anthem “Glide.” That song has become a key part of the funk music canon and serves the same role as a proving ground for funk bassist that “Giant Steps” does for hard box tenor saxophonists.

    “Glide’s” infectiously funky bass line can obscure the song’s message that encourages listeners not to be derailed by life’s annoyances and setbacks. Now McClain pairs with the powerful baritone soul singer Nathaniel Star on the inspirational song “It’s A Gift.”

    (June 21, 2022) Guitarist and songwriter Marlon McClain knows music can be used to inspire. McClain is an original member of the band Pleasure and he’s been a solo artist and songwriter.

    McClain played on Pleasure’s biggest hit, the 1979 funk anthem “Glide.” That song has become a key part of the funk music canon and serves the same role as a proving ground for funk bassist that “Giant Steps” does for hard box tenor saxophonists.

    “Glide’s” infectiously funky bass line can obscure the song’s message that encourages listeners not to be derailed by life’s annoyances and setbacks. Now McClain pairs with the powerful baritone soul singer Nathaniel Star on the inspirational song “It’s A Gift.”

    “It’s A Gift” is a funk tune that also draws in gospel and Southern soul influences. The song’s message encouraging listeners the remember that life is a gift despite the real challenges they face daily is one that resonates for people buffeted by two decades of upheaval and setbacks.

    In Nathaniel Star, McClain found a vocalist whose emotive and raspy baritone gives the lyrics and message the passion of the blues and honesty of gospel. McClain’s guitar playing brings in elements of the blues, rock, as well as jazz improvisation. Check out McClain and Star on “It’s A Gift” here.

    By Howard Dukes

    Marlon McClain feat. Nathaniel Star
    "It's a Gift"

     
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