Miko Marks will release a six-track EP on Oct. 1. Titled Race Records, the new project finds the Oakland-based country singer performing classic country, bluegrass and folk-rock songs.

Race Records — which takes its name from the colloquial term used to describe any music made by Black artists in the early 1900s — highlights the diverse influences that have all been injected into country music since its inception. "Blues, gospel, bluegrass, country — all of these styles were influencing each other early on, crossing racial and cultural divides the way music should,” Marks reflects.

As such, Marks' new EP features songs from, among others, the Monroe Brothers, Willie Nelson and the Carter Family; fans have already been able to hear her cover of Nelson's "Whiskey River." When she announced the project, Marks also released her version of "Long as I Can See the Light," written by John Fogerty and released in 1970 by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Marks describes "Long as I Can See the Light" as something a little different than what she’s used to. “Fogerty’s vocal delivery is so intense and powerful that it seemed like a really fun departure for me from some of my ‘sweeter’ sounds," she notes.

Race Records is Marks' second project of 2021. It follows Our Country, released in March after a 13-year hiatus prompted by the backlash Marks received as a Black woman making country music in the 2000s.

“We wanted to create an EP that would honor and shine a light on a few of the pioneers in country and Americana music,” Marks adds of her newest release. “I love the connection I feel between genres when I listen to these artists.”

Miko Marks Race Records EP
Brooklyn Basement Records

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