British Blues powerhouse Bex Marshall will be on stage on Sat 16 March at the Quarterdeck, Narooma joined by the fabulous Bonnie Kay & The Bonafides - TICKETS HERE Bex returns to Australia for an extensive run of shows – her first return visit in 9 years after headline performances at Blues On Broadbeach and Cairns Blues Festival back in 2010.
Known for her unique style of guitar playing which pushes the boundaries of blues – a combined technique of slide, blues rock with electric ragtime, and roots pickin’, Bex says “There’s not many female players doin’ what I’m doin’, I like the idea of mixing things up. My style of playing surely didn’t happen overnight, and it’s difficult for me to begin to explain how I actually do it sometimes, but it’s a mixture of ragtime, slide and bluegrass with loads of lead licks kickin’ in all at the same time, which means I’m playing two time signatures simultaneously. I have bass lines going on while my percussive beat is slappin’ the strings.
Often compared to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, Bex also includes artists such as Memphis Minnie and Sister Rosetta Thorpe among her female mentors and says her influences also include “the passion” of Stevie Ray Vaughan, “the filth” of Howlin’ Wolf and “the wild abandonment” of Jimi Hendrix.
With her world-class guitar skills and powerful melting pot vocals - described as ‘a soulful black woman’s heartache combined with rock diva soul’ - Australian audiences should not miss this 2-time UK British Blues Award and 4-time European Blues Awards nominee on her first trip here in nearly 10 years, complete with her hand-picked Australian band.
“AT LAST, A WOMAN WHO PLAYS GUITAR LIKE A GODDESS, SINGS LIKE AN ANGEL,WRITES LIKE DYLAN AND SMILES LIKE THE DEVIL.” - BOOKER T JONES.
VIDEO: Bex Marshall - The House of Mercy
Bex Marshall, born in Devon but now London based, is the product of two very different families - one blue blooded landed gentry, the other - Irish Romany. As a child at family gatherings her Irish Romany uncles would always play and stand her on the table to sing. At the age of 11, she was given a 1963 Gibson Hummingbird by her Uncle David (The Marauders) and started playing.
Bex found herself hooked on instrumentals and classical guitar standards which stretched her fingers and gave her a great basis for her own music to develop; flamenco, ragtime, country chicken pickin’, rock and on to blues and roots, where she is now in her element.
With a passion for travelling an integral part of her DNA, Bex trained as a croupier at 18 and began her travels around the world - working gaming tables on cruise liners to Park Lane, even dealing illegal poker games in Amsterdam. She hitchhiked the coast of Australia on cattle trains, always with a guitar on her back, living and storing tales to tell.
All the while, Bex was honing her craft and developing her music career, to the point that she is now headlining some of the world’s most prestigious stages playing and singing her own music. Highlights to date include performances at festivals around Europe – including numerous appearances at Glastonbury, the London Blues Festival, the Cork International Guitar Festival, Orkney Blues Fest and The Fleadh Festival in the UK, the Czech Republic’s Blues Alive Festival, Bliuzo Naktsys Festival in Lithuania, France’s Carpe Diem and Chorus Blues Festivals and Cyprus’ Sundance Roots Festival.
In the Americas, Bex has performed at both the Lages and Gravatas Jazz and Blues Festivals in Brazil and Argentina’s Córdoba Rock Festival, and she has toured the United States six times to date - with appearances at the Juke Joint Festival in Mississippi and the Kalamazoo Festival in Michigan as part of a number of her 40+date US tours.
Other career highlights for this talented performer include being invited to be the guest JANIS (‘Joplin’) by Big Brother and the Holding Company’s original guitarist Sam Andrews on their 2014 European Tour, featuring all original members and the opportunity to sing with Darby Slick as the voice of Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane) on her last US tour in 2018. Bex regularly conducts writing retreats for budding musicians in various countries on her travels, a role she finds very satisfying and as a way of giving back to music fans.
With three albums to her name already, Bootlace (2002), Kitchen Table (2008) and the award-winning House Of Mercy (2012), you will find swamp blues, splashes of gospel and colourful bluegrass all with an exciting lyrical British twist. House Of Mercy received stunning reviews internationally and saw her invited to perform sessions recorded for the Paul Jones & Bob Harris BBC Radio 2 shows. Her many worldwide interviews include with Elwood-Dan Aykroyd (one of the original ‘Blues Brothers’) – another career highlight for this dynamic performer.
“Guitarist Bex Marshall might hail from Britain, but she’s managed to nail the swampy blues and grooving gospel rock of the American South on House of Mercy. Her expressive, gutsy vocals are matched by her confident six-string style, which is exemplified on guitar workouts like ‘Love’ and ‘Bourbon Street.” – Guitar World