Birmingham, Alabama-based outfit Bob Marston & the Credible Sources have released “Real Magic, Good People,” the second from their forthcoming debut full-length LP So Long, due out June 3rd. Marston was walking his dog at a local nature preserve, processing a difficult breakup, and the groove for “Real Magic, Good People” bubbled up through his soul.
“The first half of each verse presents my attempt to balance my love of Birmingham with what I had, at the time, recently learned about her history of labor injustice, including convict-leasing and union-busting,” Marston explains. “The chorus is a rallying cry to believe in ourselves and our potential as a community, realizing that for all of our differences we share more in common.” While the inspiration was the troubling history of his hometown, the overall themes are universal–the power of honest expression, understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance is what truly connects and unifies our communities. “Real Magic, Good People” follows the release of the album’s title track, which encourages understanding each other in order to heal societal rifts.
Marston has been on a journey of self-discovery, and with the help of therapy, meditation, and cannabis, his empathic creativity comes shining through the lyrics of every song on So Long. The Credible Sources are equal parts roots rock backing band and high-flying, improv-ready aces. Truly a whole greater than the sum of its wildly capable parts, the band is known for its intricately-woven guitar parts, tight and compelling bass and drum grooves, and pure, emotive vocals, a sound that garners comparisons to The Grateful Dead, moe., Wilco, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and more.
Marston (acoustic guitar/electric guitar/lead vocals) is accompanied by George Hipp (acoustic guitar/electric guitar/dobro/ backing vocals), Natalie Valentine (backing vocals), Aaron Branson or Eric Onimus on bass, and drummer Brett Huffman. So Long also features keyboard master Matt Slocum (Allman Brothers, Susan Tedeschi, Widespread Panic, and more), powerhouse vocalist LaToya Matthews, and monster bass player Adrian Marmolejo (Early James and the Latest). Trombonist Chad Fisher (St. Paul and the Broken Bones), Allen Branstetter (St. Paul and the Broken Bones) on trumpet, and Gary Wheat on saxophone and clarinet bring horn-infused heat, while award-winning fiddler Adam Purvis, Niamh Tuohy (violin), Melanie Richardson-Rodgers (viola), and Patty Pillon (cello) provide cinematic strings.The album’s tracks explore love and devotion through the lens of attempts to salvage a challenging relationship, the processing of a painful breakup, and a patient plea for reconciliation, to pondering life’s big questions and commentary on issues of social injustice and society. Ultimately, So Long is about striving to find humanity in ourselves, our communities, and in society as a whole. Brought together by luck, fate, and destiny, this band of seasoned professionals and unproven hotshots upends stereotypes and breaks paradigms as it brings a message of love, honesty, empathy, and infinite possibility to the world, one song at a time.