You might have heard of Marc Delgado from his single, The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel. The track was a beautiful single to release, combining Marc’s writing talent and simple music structure to create something that stands out within the ordinary. Now he releases his album, Wildwood Road, an assortment of different stories compiled for his listeners.
Marc Delgado’s interesting journey
Marc’s tales have the undertones of a travelers. His music reflects the same, like his opening track, We Drove out Through the Dust. The voiceovers have the desired effect, creating suspense for for the rest of the album, as it should. Marc tells me about his journey into music:
When I was 39 I was very sick. I had been living a particular way for a long time. Hearing voices & was physical illness. I had to change my lifestyle or I was going to die. In a moment of, I don’t know what it was, clarity or spirituality or stubbornness, I decided I wanted to live.
I got sober, begun playing the guitar & writing obsessively. I realized I didn’t want to do anything else. The jobs I had & the way I was living became meaningless to me. I quit the what I was doing to make money, I was working in a grocery store & waiting tables, & started driving around & performing wherever they would let me.
Solace and a new chapter
He seems to have found solace in many places, like the track California suggests. With the classic rock vibe, Marc is all praises for the beauty of the place, the people and the stories it has given him. This inspired me to ask him about his process in music, his inspirations and masters he reveres:
Well the kind of music I grew up with & that inspired me is guitar & piano oriented rock n roll. I guess it is called classic rock now. It is music that is lyric driven &, I think, honest. Music that has something to say. Petty definitely had something to say, but he was also concerned with writing a “great” song. Neil Young is the reason I wanted to learn to play guitar. Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, R.E.M. The emphasis is on the song.
I love John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. His albums are like short stories. I love literature. I love poetry & stories. The Novelists: Denis Johnson & Jonathan Lethem & Michael Chabon. Poets: Larry Levis & Phil Levine. These artists kept me alive. If it wasn’t for music & books I would have been sunk, lost for good. These stories & songs found me & let me know I wasn’t alone with my madness. I want to do the same. I want to give something back.
A path that should not be
This is where we chance upon his previously released single, The Cautionary Tale of Richard Manuel. Perhaps he had something to teach Marc, for he seems to have switched his life around with music as a savior and messiah. He talks about the same track that influenced him so much:
The obvious answer is Richard Manuel. He was a beautiful musician who was destroyed by addiction. I use his story to tell mine. He killed himself & I am still here. Why? Why do some people get a 2nd or 3rd or in my case 50th chance & some don’t? It is inexplicable. I feel very lucky I was able to leave that locked room.
All of the songs on this record are autobiographical & are written about a specific person in my life or myself. I pay tribute to my mother & her early death in “We Drove Out Through the Dust” & how it sent me spinning out of control. “Conquistador Blues” is a song about my Grandfather, who killed himself, & my father & myself. That strange relationship between fathers & sons. “Fugue” is written for my wife Melanie Delgado. “Mary, the Interstate…” for my daughter Mary. It is a very personal album. These are songs I “had’ to write.
Other tales to narrate
The Queens of Coming & Going does exactly that. It is a fable that needs to be told, people need to hear. It comes from the writers own heart, from experiences and moments that have been pivotal to him. The acoustic grace of The Wild Dogs of Central Valley also tells a tale of a vagabond that is searching for a home, demons chasing him continually. Simple yet in contrast, effective. What WildwoodRoad is about:
Wildwood Road is a short story. It takes you on a little ride from my troubled life in California to my life now living in Woodstock, NY w my wife & daughter. I lived my whole life as an addict. Leading a double life until the dark half completely took over.
Then I made a change. I decided to start living. Reflecting on my life & doing what I always wanted to do. I met my wife. I chose love instead of fear. That is ultimately what the record is about.
Writing with passion-family and friends
Writing for his daughter, Mary The Interstate… is another track that is a lesson in itself. Teaching a pupil from experiences of his own, Marc tells tales that might guide, and provide the advice you might need. Fugue, is a strange state of transition that is again a snippet from Marc’s previous troubled life. A state of tiredness, from where self reflection might begin and teach lessons.
Reeling into ConquistadorBlues, Marc slowly shifts to the new life he wants to live. As it is a tale of progress and change, it is a library of metaphors and moments from a new man’s old book. Music has been a savior to him, as clearly heard in his carefully thought out, personal music.
Marc Delgado on the road again
Marc Delgado will be traveling with his music, something he has definitely wished for all his life. On asking about his future plans, Marc says:
I hope to be able to get back to performing. I know we all do. It’s out of my hands. I will continue to collaborate w my partner Justin Tracy, my songwriting partner & producer. Wildwood Road is our first project together & we are very excited to see what we can do next! I am working on a new batch of songs & have some ideas about what to do next.
I have a book coming out soon that is a collection of short stories, poems & essays. It is meant to accompany the songs on Wildwood Road. It is called: “The Black Socks: A book of stories & poems & other stuff that may or may not have actually happened…” I am very excited for this.
We thank Marc for his interview, and Wildwood Road for teaching us through music: