Released in the UK in May 2010, their debut album “Westerner” was produced by the band and Graham Deas (KT Tunstall, Super Furry Animals). The album immediately received several excellent reviews, including 9/10 from AmericanaUK (“as good as Americana gets”) and received 5 stars in Maverick magazine (“quite simply stunning”).
Renowned Dutch music magazine ‘Heaven’ described the record as “one of the best European Americana records ever” with the celebrated US Americana website NoDepression.com declaring the album as a strong contender for their ‘debut disc of 2010’.
Chief songwriter Keith Benzie follows the storytelling tradition of the Americana genre and touches on some diverse subject matter, including the world’s only albino gorilla (“Snowflake”), 50s pin-up artists (“Gil”) and the devastation of trench warfare (“Divine Compassion”).
Pedal steel-drenched ballads (“Nelly” and “All That I Want”) serve as a counterpoint to songs like the epic, pastoral, slow burner “Thunder in the Valley” and the band’s Hammond-organ led, widescreen paean to a Greyhound trip gone bad “48 Hours”.
Throughout the album, the excellent guitar and pedal steel interplay and the heartfelt lyrics and vocals help the band forge a sound that is truly their own.
Following the release of “Westerner”, the Marshals were invited to record a live BBC Radio 2 session with the legendary “Whispering” Bob Harris MBE in July, performing 3 songs in the studio - “48 Hours”, “Snowflake” and “Two’s Company”.
Prior to embarking on a UK tour with US friends Dolly Varden and Magnolia Summer in February 2011, Owen Nicholson took over lead guitaring duties following the departure of original guitarist Iain Barbour.
Then, in the spring of 2011, “Westerner” was released in mainland Europe through Sonic Rendezvous and, during their subsequent headline tour of the Netherlands that April, the band recorded a national radio session for Kink FM’s “2 Meter Sessies” at the request of renowned Dutch broadcaster Jan Douwe Kroeske.
The Marshals have since released their first live EP “Live at the Holly Tree” (a 7-track blast featuring a cover of Neil Young’s “Powderfinger”), and followed this with a live session on “Another Country with Ricky Ross” on BBC Radio Scotland in June 2011.
Since then, the band have been holed up in Wynntown writing new material for the follow-up to “Westerner” - some of which will be aired during their short tour of Germany and Holland in May/June 2012.
In the meantime, the Marshals invite you to pack your bags and get on the next bus to Wynntown - a small, homely place populated by down-to-earth, hard-working types, where a fist-fight is often followed by a bear-hug, and lost love and heartache might be only a drink away.
A few of the locals might seem a little rough around the edges, but you can be sure of a warm welcome. You never know… you might just want to stay a while.
Keith Benzie - Vocals, Guitar
Keith Jones - Drums, Vocals
Simon Ritson - Bass, Mandolin
Iain Sloan - 12-String, Pedal Steel, Vocals
Leigh Benzie - Vocals
Diezel Megane - Lead Guitarz, acrobatics and punctuation correction’s.