Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Kendell Marvel

Ep. 123 - Kendell Marvel 

"Either Way" - The Songwriting Veteran-Turned New Artist


Scott and Paul chat about a wild news story from this past week involving a previous Songcraft guest and recognize another recent Songcraft guest for achieving an amazing milestone.

PART TWO - 10:05 mark
Paul and Scott call up Kendell to chat about the unique space he's carved out for himself as a Southern-rock-influenced country boy.

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The guys call up Kendell Marvel in Nashville to find out how he got his start in honky tonk bars at the age of ten; the childhood hero who ended up recording one of Kendell's songs; the Top 5 hit that he wrote on his very first day in Nashville; who he says is the closest thing we have to Willie Nelson today; the song that he was the most excited to find out had been recorded; the country star he refers to as Eeyore; why he thinks women are making the best music in Nashville today (even though they're not recording his songs); and how making a new record with Dan Auerbach was a life-changing experience.

The son of a coal miner, Kendell Marvel was raised in southern Illinois, where his father encouraged his love of country music and took him to play in the local honky tonks starting at the age of ten. He moved to Nashville as a young adult to pursue a career as a country artist, but ended up taking a nearly two-decade detour as a successful songwriter for other artists.

Kendell’s breakthrough came with Gary Allan’s Top 5 country hit “Right Where I Need to Be.” He went on to write additional hit singles such as “Tougher Than Nails” by Joe Diffie, “Startin’ with Me” and “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” for Jake Owen, “Twang” for George Strait, “That Lonesome Song” with Jamey Johnson, and “Either Way,” which was recorded by both Lee Ann Womack and Kendell’s co-writer, Chris Stapleton.

Other artists who’ve recorded Kendell’s songs include Tracy Lawrence, Trace Adkins, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Randy Houser, Darius Rucker, Cody Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Aaron Watson, Hank Williams, Jr., and Brothers Osborne.

As an artist, Marvel has recorded two albums, Lowdown and Lonesome, and the forthcoming Solid Gold Sounds, which was produced by and mostly co-written with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Kendell currently tours with Chris Stapleton and Brothers Osborne, introducing his unique take on Southern rock-influenced country to new audiences who’ve known his songs but are just getting to know his voice.  

Songcraft's Kendell Marvel Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a few of Kendell's own recording, followed by a nearly complete list of his songs that have been recorded by other artists. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.