Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Classic-sounding straight-up Rock from Marah

I always do a little research for a post, usually looking for an angle. Sometimes there isn’t much of a back-story to bands. Marah, on the other hand, has enough story for a full season of a soap opera. Let’s see here… where to start.

Marah first got together in the early 90s. After plugging away at it for a few years, they released their first album in 1998. They have had a fair amount of success. Their work has been compared to early Bruce Springsteen. They appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2000. Bruce Springsteen himself actually played guitar and sang on a track on one of their albums in 2001. Stephen King called them “the American U2” and hailed their release, ‘If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry,’ as the best album of 2005. They played Bonnaroo in 2006.

Leave us a comment if you've played with these guys.

Leave us a comment if you've played with these guys.

9 albums, 2 EPs, a DVD. TV time, famous collaborators in the studio, good press. For all of this, they never quite seemed to break through. At least, I had never heard of them (missed ‘em at Bonnaroo) and they’ve never had a radio hit. Here’s my guess as to why: they have more former members than the Michael Vick Fan Club. Right now they are a three-piece, but the current members are outnumbered 5 to 1 by the 15 guys who have left the band over the years. The one constant has been founding soungwriter Dave Bielanko. I think it must be very difficult to put together a tour in support of an album or have your songs mature as they sometimes do for bands on the road if you’re constantly dealing with bad splits (which some apparently were), trying out new guys, rehearsing old material, getting to know guys…

In any event, the drama doesn’t seem to hamper songwriting and their 2008 release, ‘Angels of Destruction,’ has some good music on it. I picked 4 as keepers.

  • Old Time Tickin’ Away – Just a solid Rock n’ Roll song. The guitar riff sounds familiar, but I can’t place where I may have heard it. Maybe it’s just the old school feel that makes it seem that way.
  • Wild West Love Song – I think it is perhaps the percussion that is mainly responsible for the nearly honky-tonk feel of this song. They pound away at the piano, too.
  • Blue But Cool – This love song sounds to me like a cross between Joe Henry and Peter Wolf, if you can imagine that.
  • Angels of Destruction – They channeled The Rolling Stones circa the late 70s for the title track.

I am trying to get my hands on a copy of ‘If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry’ if for no other reason than to hear what Stephen King thinks is so great. Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?



August 5, 2009 - Posted by | Classic Rock, Popular, Rock

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