Fort Wayne native Sherry Marquelle followed her dream to become a national recording artist down to Nashville, Tennessee. With great persistence she enlisted the help of heavyweight producer Fred Foster, who has produced such names as Dolly Parton, Kris Kristopherson and Roy Orbison, and top-notch studio musicians to create The Only Bridge, her debut album.
The eight songs on the album have a definite country-leaning to them but with enough variety to keep this from being strictly a country album. The first track, “You Can’t Have It Anymore,” however, clearly falls into this genre. The upbeat tempo, slide guitar and backing accordions, as well as the slight twang in Marquelle’s excellent voice and the classic country subject matter (“You’ve used it / Abused it / Now you’re gonna lose it”) all make this a solid country song. Slightly more pop is the optimistic “Feelin’
About You,” which is comprised chiefly of piano and organs. “Takin’ Back My Heart” is a fast-paced country rocker, a format that allows Marquelle to show off her energetic rock voice. The title track is a vibe-laden reflection about burning bridges, while “What Difference Would It Make” is another sad, piano-based song with light instrumentation that leaves little to interfere with Marquelle’s strong vocals. The male backing vocals in the chorus of “Why” gives the song a slight duet feel, and the nice harmonies of the final track, “Safe At Last,” contributes to the reassuring tone of the song, a gentle send-off from Marquelle’s soothing voice.
Recorded at Bayou Studio in Nashville (with some work done at Northwood Studio in Nappanee), The Only Bridge is a fully professional album of songs written by some of country music’s top writers. The musicianship and production are outstanding, but the star is the voice of Sherry Marquelle.
You can catch Marquelle locally with her band Sadona.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, August 2002.