Marlon Williams takes on North America
In July 2015, Marlon Williams made his Vancouver Folk Music Festival debut stunning the crowd. The 25-year-old New Zealander is a revelation, according to the Vancouver Sun. Williams’ voice is riveting, a cross between old time country/golden AM radio and the soulful croon of Roy Orbison, Chris Isaak and Elvis Presley.
Christchurch-born Williams is a true student of country, folk and bluegrass.
His self-titled debut album, released in April 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, is about to be released in North America, on 19 February. The album earned Williams five nominations at the 2015 New Zealand Music Awards, where he won the titles of Best Solo Male Artist and Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
The North American release of the album finally brings Williams back on this side of the world for a North American trek that will appropriately kick off with a sold out concert at the Media Club in Vancouver.
Williams will be supported by his band The Yarra Benders for a concert that’s been on many’s minds since July last year.
Inspired by the music of legends like Gram Parsons and alt-country groups like The Jayhawks, he quickly developed a deep love for country-rock.
“My dad gave me a Gram Parsons record and I just ran with it,” Williams said. “Around the mid-2000s, there was a massive push – in Lyttleton, the town I grew up in, and worldwide – toward folk music and old-time music. It was an interesting way to come to something and realise it was in keeping with some sort of worldwide thing developing.”
Williams plays the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on 31 January, followed by shows in Portland and San Francisco. In mid-February he will perform at the Festival Les Nuits de l’Alligator in France.
Original article by Francois Marchand, The Vancouver Sun, January 22, 2016.