LIKE HOLLYWOOD | THERE WE ARE | VERTIGO | FAVORITE BALL AND CHAIN | DRIVE TOO FAST

Marlee MacLeod plays rich, full-sounding alt-country with a heavy pop/rock bent and earnest, driving numbers such as "Wish I Could" and "Flying Time" make this an appealing album for fans across genres. MacLeod has a fierce, resonant determination in her voice, whether she's really spreading her wings, as on the expansive "O Muse," or settling down into the nooks of mellower fare, such as "Down Your River." One of the most gorgeous tracks here is "Horizon," which is pushed into the rarefied atmosphere by MacLeod's heart-rending, twangy pipes and alt-country favorite Eric Heywood's weeping strains of pedal steel. "Goner" is another drop-dead beauty on this release by a remarkable singer/songwriter/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist.

~ Erik Hage, All Music Guide

LIKE HOLLYWOOD
2002 Catamount Records

Produced by:
John Fields and Marlee MacLeod

Participants:
Marlee MacLeod, John Filelds, Billy Thommes, Ken Chastain, Eric Heywood, and Jessy Green

Recorded at:
SubJersey, Golden Valley, MN

Flying Time
Regretfully
Lyrics
Wallflowers
Wish I Could
Lyrics
O Muse
Lyrics
Down Your River
Lyrics
In the In Between
Lyrics
Horizon
Lyrics
You Don't Miss Me
Lyrics
Goner
Lyrics
Gravity
Lyrics
Bon Voyage
Lyrics

LIKE HOLLYWOOD | THERE WE ARE | VERTIGO | FAVORITE BALL AND CHAIN | DRIVE TOO FAST

Most of the songs on her fourth album, There We Are, deal with people who are in one way or another getting stuck in the labyrinth of contemporary relationships, where a wrong turn or two can have you wandering in circles for hours. MacLeod is a romantic realist if there ever was one; her songs rarely have a happy ending, but she seems to know when she is or isn't to blame (depending on what cut you cue up, MacLeod could admit, "I am one bad actress/I am one slow study," or instead declare, "I like your abstract more than your actuality"), and even her direst tales of woe have an clear undertow of hard-won humor. And unlike many people who mine the rocky underside of romance for song material, MacLeod is no whiner; her lyrical tone is tough, pithy, and unpretentiously intelligent, like someone you'd swap stories with at the bar who also has a library card and knows how to use it. It helps that MacLeod has just the right voice for her material (a strong Southern/Midwestern blend that favors substance over prettiness and brings across the material quite effectively), and she plays a tough, rockin' guitar over a nimble rhythm section that knows how to jump. Anyone having trouble with modern romance is advised to give There We Are a listen; it might not tell you anything you don't already know, but there aren't many people who can say it this well, or with the right blend of honesty and humor. Great stuff.

~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide

THERE WE ARE
2000 Hayden's Ferry Records

Produced by:
John Fields and Marlee MacLeod


Participants: Marlee MacLeod, Todd Beeson, Brien Lilja, John Fields, Noah Levy, Eric Lewis, and Ken Chastain.

Recorded at: Funkytown Studio, Minneapolis MN

Cautionary Tale
Lyrics
Then Again
Lyrics
Ride
Lyrics
Walk You Home
Lyrics
Ever After
Lyrics
Better Than
Lyrics
Such a Hammer
Lyrics
All Is Well
Lyrics
You Already Know
Lyrics
Autherine
Lyrics
Are You Leaving?
Lyrics
Universe
Lyrics

LIKE HOLLYWOOD | THERE WE ARE | VERTIGO | FAVORITE BALL AND CHAIN | DRIVE TOO FAST

This is the third record from Marlee, her first with TRG. Pop oriented while maintaining the authenticity of Americana. This is the next wave of Americana. Poppy yet sincere. Intelligent but not overstated or pretentious. Sure a college education helps, but even the reading challenged can enjoy this record . A killer combination of great
hooks and great lyrics.

VERTIGO
1997 TRG Records

Produced by:
John Fields and Marlee MacLeod


Participants: Marlee MacLeod, John Crist, John Strawberry Fields, Ken Chastain, Michael Bland, Jacqueline Ferrier-Ultan

Recorded at: Funkytown Studio, Minneapolis MN

Mata Hari Dress
Lyrics
Me and Shelly Winters
Lyrics
Just Like Geronimo
Lyrics
Can I Stay?
Econoline
Lyrics
When We Arrive
Not With You
Vertigo
Lyrics
Days of Our Lives
Lyrics
Younger
Lyrics
Beautiful
Lyrics
Postcard
Like I Know What I'm Doing
Lyrics
No Vacancy
Lyrics

LIKE HOLLYWOOD | THERE WE ARE | VERTIGO | FAVORITE BALL AND CHAIN | DRIVE TOO FAST

Marlee MacLeod is a singer/songwriter with a rocker's instincts, but the folky lurking within her seems to have been running the show when she cut her second album, 1995's Favorite Ball and Chain. Which is not to say the album is especially far off the mark for MacLeod, but the wiry electric undertow that made Vertigo and There We Go so exciting is for the most part on the back burner, with more subdued tempos and acoustic guitars taking a larger role in the proceedings. But the intelligent songwriting, mordant wit, and soberly realistic view of contemporary romance that are MacLeod's stock in trade are front and center on Favorite Ball and Chain, and one spin will find most listeners asking themselves, "How come a songwriter this good isn't famous yet?" Whether MacLeod is diving headfirst into a dysfunctional relationship ("You're not stupid, but you're crazy/I'm not bad, but I am lazy," she sings in "In Trouble Again"), spending an uncomfortably lost weekend in the desert ("Las Vegas"), or trying to salvage the last shards of a busted romance via pay phone ("Janesville Oasis"), MacLeod writes musical short stories with a concision and dark wit that Raymond Carver might admire, and the album's coda, a voice-and-piano elegy for Frances Farmer, says more about its subject than the biopic starring Jessica Lange could manage. Favorite Ball and Chain may not have been Marlee MacLeod's best foray in the studio, but it is a top-shelf collection of songs, and anyone who admires her superb songwriting will want to hear it. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide

FAVORITE BALL AND CHAIN
1995 Medium Cool Records

Produced by:
John Fields and Marlee MacLeod

Participants:
Marlee MacLeod, John Crist, John Strawberry Fields, Rob Veal, Mike Gerfen, Ruth Ann Sisson, Peter C. Schab

Recorded at:
Full Moon Studio, Watkinsville GA and Funkytown Studio, Minneapolis MN

Las Vegas
Lyrics
Nothing Up My Sleeve
Lyrics
Nobody to Me
Lyrics
Telling Me the Truth
Lyrics
In Trouble Again
Lyrics
Lover Let Me Be
Lyrics
Everything You Know is Wrong
Lyrics
Don't Ask Me
Lyrics
Walk
Lyrics
Keeper
Lyrics
Janesville Oasis
Lyrics
Frances
Lyrics

LIKE HOLLYWOOD | THERE WE ARE | VERTIGO | FAVORITE BALL AND CHAIN | DRIVE TOO FAST

Marlee MacLeod's vocals are a cross between Grace Slick, Maria McKee and Michelle Shocked. Her style is somewhere near the Jayhawks, perhaps closer to their Blue Earth days than the recent Hollywood Town Hall. Which means that it's rockin', rootsy stuff with a dash or two of folkish country thrown in to sweeten things. Ex-Replacement Slim Dunlap guests on "Waltz Across Texas". Listen closely and see if you can hear echoes of Jefferson Airplane's (Grace Slick) "Somebody to Love" in MacLeod's voice on a few of these tracks. She's got pure vocal strength to match Slick while tempering it with a touch of subtlety akin to Maria McKee.

DRIVE TOO FAST
1993 Medium Cool Records

Produced by:
Peter Jesperson

Participants:
Marlee MacLeod, Ben Mize, William Tonks, Dave Domizi, John Strawberry Fields, John Keane, Slim Dunlap

Recorded at:
John Keane Studio, Athens GA and Funkytown Studio, Minneapolis MN

Lie to Me
Lyrics
Everybody Loves Me
Lyrics
Drive Too Fast
Lyrics
Waltz Across Texas
Lyrics
That's All Right
Lyrics
 
Hurricane Man
Lyrics
So Big
Lyrics
Maybe If I
Lyrics
Valentine
Lyrics
Under the Sun
Lyrics