Album Review: Marc Delgado – Wildwood Road

I’ve shared a few of Marc Delgado’s tracks on our website before so I was very intrigued to see that he had released an album earlier this year, titled Wildwood Road. For those unaware, Marc is an American singer-songwriter and musician who creates folk songs with elements of Americana and country music also present within them and I’m pleased to say that there’s plenty to love here if you’re into those genres of music.

By Jane Howkins

We Drove Out Through The Dust is the first song on the album, with the track acting as an introduction to the rest of the album. It’s not really a song as such (at least compared to the other tracks on offer here) but the spoken word nature acts as a good introduction to the rest of the album.

California is the first song proper, opening with a flowing acoustic guitar melody and a piano chord sequence that help to get things going almost instantly. The lyrics have a reflective feel to them (as do most of the songs here) – Marc grew up in California and the lyrics help to show the beauty in the golden state. One of the things I enjoyed most about Marc’s music was his storytelling skills, reminding me a little of Bruce Springsteen’s work.

The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel is a homage to Canadian composer and musician Richard Manuel who sadly committed suicide in the 1980s after a struggle with addition. Marc’s lyrics discuss Richard’s passing and really show just how talented Marc really is at storytelling, as the lyrics will draw you in almost instantly. The music also has a sad feel to it (despite the upbeat rhythm), fitting the themes of the track well.

The Queens Of Coming & Going is a song that we’ve featured before as a stand alone song and it still sounds as incredible as when I first heard it. The track contains a fingerpicked guitar melody which works wonders when combined with Marc’s vocal style.

The Wild Dogs Of The Central Valley is another track that we’ve featured before, containing a spidery guitar melody and a slow feel, which suits the folky style of Marc’s music well. It’s a really beautiful song and the lyrics stand out alongside the sombre tone of the track, providing ample food for thought.

Mary, The Interstate is the last song on Wildwood Road that we’ve shared before and has more of an upbeat feel to it – there’s very much a 70s classic rock vibe to things. The song was written as a tribute to Marc’s daughter Mary Scout, giving the track a lovely overall message.

Fugue slows things down once again, having a very heartfelt vibe to it. I felt that this song had more country vibes to it than most of the others (perhaps due to the melancholic sound it contains) and the main chord sequence is beautiful. It was written for Marc’s wife Melanie Delgado, giving it a very personal feel.

Conquistador Blues is perhaps the slowest song on the album, with most of the instrumentation coming from a pretty piano melody. Marc’s gruff vocal style acts as a nice dynamic change compared to the soft style of the music – the song is about Marc’s grandfather who sadly committed suicide, making for a very heartwrenching vibe. Wildwood Road is a very personal album, which is one of the things I loved about it.

The Ballad Of Dope & Coke is similar to the opening track in that it’s not a proper song per se – it acts more as a stopgap between songs and is rather short, consisting of recorded, spoken vocals and some guitar melodies.

Mr. Sorrow Strikes Again is another acoustic guitar ballad, sounding like it could have come from Springsteen’s Nebraska – that’s how good it is! Springsteen often references his home state of New Jersey within his lyrics, whereas the golden state of California is instead imprinted across Marc’s lyrics, with references to Marc’s Californian background being particularly prominent here.

Penultimate track What You Cannot Have brings the tempo up a little more, having a nostalgic feel to it (which is quite common within heartland rock music like this). The lyrics speak of young dreams and old hopes and really help to evoke a sense of nostalgia within the soul, in part due to the soft, country feel of the song.

Souls Repeating is the final song on the album and the slow nature of the track makes it sound just right for closing the album down. The organ was a lovely surprise and mixes well with the acoustic guitar, whilst the lyrics wrap the album up nicely, acting as a great closing song.

Wildwood Road is a great album and one that didn’t leave me feeling disappointed at all. Marc Delgado is a very talented singer-songwriter and the range of different styles and genres on the record is simply amazing – I recommend listening to the album through in order a few times first to fully appreciate the concept, but most of the tracks here work well on their own too. Check out his website and his social media pages below for more information.