Marley’s Ghost is nothing less than a national treasure, the capable inheritors of the archetypal Americana blueprint drawn up by The Band.
As the L.A. Weekly aptly put it, “This West Coast group deftly dashes across decades of American music to create a sound that’s steeped in tradition but never bogged down by traditionalism.”
An eclectic aggregation composed of singer/multiinstrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wilcox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr. and Jerry Fletcher – the band can sing and play anything with spot-on feel, from roots to rock, blues to bluegrass, gospel to stone country, which is what they’ve been doing – to the ongoing delight of a fervent cult that includes many of their fellow musicians – throughout their first quarter century as a working unit. Their trademark multi-part harmonies never cease to captivate, whether on record or in live performance.
The band recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with the scintillating tour de force, Jubilee. The album, produced by the late and legendary Nashville cat Cowboy Jack Clement and recorded at the city’s venerable Sound Emporium, which Clement built, features guest performances from artists Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Marty Stuart and Larry Campbell.
Campbell, a master musician of all things stringed, three-time Grammy winning producer, and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, was so impressed with the band during his session work on Jubilee, that he signed on to produce its follow-up album. That effort, much of which was recorded at the venerable Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY, turned out to be a perfect match of artist and producer and will hit the streets later this year.
Also on board for 2015, Marley’s Ghost is launching Praying for Rain: Songs & Stories of the American Farmer, a multimedia theatrical performance piece about the men behind one of the most iconic and enduring images in our culture. Set against a backdrop of struggles –extremities of weather, changing markets, shifting political winds, and the tragic consequences of the Dust Bowl – it is at once a resonant story about persistence of vision and warning about our impact on today’s environment. Fueled by the band’s deep musical roots, narrative prowess, and passion for history, Praying for Rain promises a thoughtful and resonant evening of theater and song.