Run With Me

The stars aligned in the musical universe when Andrea Marr and John McNamara, both well respected and experienced Australian Soul and Blues artists in their own right, combined forces to become The McNaMarr Project.  Together?  Wow.  They’re right up there with the very best.  In 2019 they released ‘Holla & Moan’ – their debut collaborative work.  And the global blues and soul scene sat up and took serious notice, with great airplay support worldwide, and fabulous reviews likewise pouring in from all corners.   

Now, three years and a whole new world later, The McNaMarr Project are back with their second album – Run With Me.  Recorded under vastly different circumstances; without the atmosphere and history of Memphis, Tennessee, the feel and talent of the wonderful Stax Records Producer Lester Snell and those amazing Southern US backing musicians behind them and combined with all the restraints that Covid has thrown at musicians everywhere – the pressure was on.  

Could The McNaMarr Project deliver on the expectations, both from within and without, for their next release?  You betcha, baby.  Run With Me literally bursts out of the blocks – bold, confident, immediately engaging and dripping with the soul, blues, sass and joyous vibe of its predecessor.  This album is a statement, The McNaMarr Project is no flash in the pan.  

First single More of You (out January 29) is an old-school Soul ballad, with lashings of Gospel drenched harmonies.  The song is a contemplation on the way we all chase things in life that often mean very little, when the really important thing is right in front of you. It’s a banger of a track, no doubt.

Album opener Save It Til I See You has a piano bar blues feel, and was of course inspired by the separation that Covid enforced on loved ones everywhere. 

“I’m done talking now, there’s nothing to say.  I’ll be two steps behind you as you’re walking away” is from the title track – a rootsy duet featuring slide guitar, and is a “if you leave me, I’m coming too” song, while Stand Up, although also a rootsy guitar-driven track, has more of a rock edge with its call for people to challenge themselves and stand up for what they believe in.

The Right Temptation has Sam and Dave / Otis Redding vibe, capturing the Stax groove.  “We all get a little weak sometimes, lose attention and blur the lines”. The right temptation is the one we all might cross the line for.

Track 6, Love Starts With Me was written by Andrea some years ago in reaction to the infamous George Floyd murder that rocked the world.  The song is an expression of the hopelessness felt by society, and Andrea’s realisation that love is the only way forward to a better world.

Brighter, a slow blues number, is another pandemic related tune, written deep in the heart of the Victorian lockdowns when things went dark for the music industry and musicians had no hope left for what the future would bring.  Andrea, being the eternal optimist writes “I can’t see the future, right now it’s so very hard to dream, but I believe it’s darkest before the dawn breaks, and Lord I have to believe it’s gonna be brighter than it seems” 

Dangerous Thing is a cheeky little tune with a laid-back funky blues feel – with a little throwback to Tower of Power and The Meters Grooves.  “I should be running just as fast as I can, I smell trouble, you’re such a dangerous thing”, while You’re The Reason is a joyful combination of John and Andrea’s harmonies and Sean Vagg’s high-energy sax, reminiscent of Gospel-tinged Ray Charles’ style ‘Take it to church Blues’.

01.Save It Til I See You
02. Run With Me
03. More Of You
04. The Right Temptation
05. Stand Up
06. Love Starts With Me
07. Brighter
08. Dangerous Thing
09. You’re The Reason
10. Soul Medley