Review: Miko Marks draws on church roots and bridges genres

Miko Marks and the Resurrectors, “Feel Like Going Home” (Redtone Records)

Miko Marks created a buzz last month performing at AmericanaFest in Nashville, Tennessee, and her latest album is an engaging encore.

“Feel Like Going Home” is also the follow-up to “Our Country,” Marks’ 2021 album that marked the revival of her musical career after a hiatus of more than a decade to focus on family.

Marks joins a welcome trend of recent breakouts in country music by Black women who defy genre boundaries. Her new album draws on gospel, the blues, Motown, Memphis soul, Southern rock and more, the result an auditory rainbow to match the visual delight provided on stage by Marks and her band, the Resurrectors.

Marks never oversings, but every note is delivered with fervor on such subjects as deliverance, perseverance, transcendence and empowerment. Her church roots are a unifying element, with singalong choruses out of the choir loft and ballads as prayer.

Steve Wyreman and Justin Phipps produced and wrote the material with Marks, and make distinctive contributions on multiple instruments.

“Let me ride, ride, ride to the other side,” Marks sings on “The Other Side,” and Wyreman’s electric slide guitar emerges to show the way. His frantic playing provides an energetic push on “Trouble,” a topical stomper inspired by the late civil rights leader John Lewis. The song pairs passionate lyrics with an unspoken message: The joyful momentum of Marks’ music is not to be stopped.

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This story has been updated to correct the pronoun in the lede.

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