Kendell Marvel has co-written some of Chris Stapleton’s most hard-hitting songs — “Either Way” and “Hard Livin’,” among them. One of their collabs now finds its way onto Marvel’s upcoming album Come On Sunshine: “Don’t Tell Me How to Drink” is a stomping and defiant rebuff to someone with the nerve to suggest Marvel quit while he’s ahead.
“Don’t tell me how to drink/don’t tell me how to lose my mind,” Marvel growls, with Stapleton’s unmistakable voice harmonizing behind him. “This country boy could still rock & roll ‘til it’s closing time.” Stapleton also adds some blistering guitar to the track, which follows the Come On Sunshine songs “Hell Bent on Hard Times” and “Put It in the Plate.” Marvel’s new album, produced by Beau Bedford in Dallas, Texas, arrives Sept. 23.
Marvel says he wrote “Don’t Tell Me How to Drink” with Stapleton a few years back and resurrected it for his upcoming LP. “I sent it to Stapleton asking if he would be interested in playing guitar and singin’ on it. It’s a damn thrill for me to have him on this Honky Tonkin’, Rock n Rollin’, Hell Raiser,” says Marvel, a proud 51. “Younger folks might be better at some things, but don’t mess with the old dogs when it comes to stuff like drinkin’.”
For the video, Marvel and director Jace Kartye decamped for notorious Nashville dive bar Fran’s East Side (which recently moved from its longtime location), where Kartye filmed the songwriter from behind the bar as a series of fellow drinkers come to fill their glasses.