Random emails to semi-retired roots rockers moonlighting as DJs often can lead to the opportunities of a lifetime.
You shoot an email to Mojo Nixon via his satellite radio show about your own music, and next thing you know, you’re in New York recording with a top-notch producer and musician.
That’s what happened to D.L. Marble, the local guitar player and singer whose debut “Not the One” just came out. It’s the product of a recording session with Eric “Roscoe” Ambel.
Ambel is a member of Bloodshot Records band the Yayhoos, although he’s better known as a producer. His credits include sessions with Steve Earle, The Bottle Rockets and more.
When Nixon suggested Ambel as a producer, Marble sent some rough, self-described “laundry room” mixes. Ambel liked them, and months later Marble was recording his music in the old Gretsch guitar factory in Brooklyn.
Marble and His Amazing Hippies will celebrate the release of “Not the One” tonight at the Underground at The Irish Embassy, a new venue that’s part of the Irish bar at Ninth Street and Main Avenue. In addition to Marble, who sings and plays rhythm guitar, the Amazing Hippies include Matt Rupnow on guitar, Art Cahill on bass, Matt Knight on drums, Howie Basley on percussion and Matt Schilling on guitar. Many of the backing band also moonlight as Red Eyed Djinn, a local Grateful Dead cover band.
Marble writes like a seasoned lyricist. “Not the One” is a collection of polished rock and country grounded in roots rock and American folk music. More importantly, it’s genuine.
Marble comes from generations that made their living as cowboys in Arizona, and his music and songwriting chops were honed with bandmate and brother Matt Schilling, as the two swapped songs while Schilling served in the military. Their desire to play came while they were still teenagers.
“We bought guitars after a Refreshments show. We figured if those guys could do it, we could, too,” Marble said. “And we played football, so we went with the ‘anything to get girls’ mantra, and it worked. So far. When we moved to Durango, Matt Schilling was in the Marine Corps, he served overseas, and we’d write songs back and forth, back and forth.”
Once in Durango, he put the feelers out for a band, and bass player Cahill suggested Red Eyed Djinn. Country’s not too much of a stretch for a Dead cover band, as the Grateful Dead’s “Workingman’s Dead” and other early works are more country than many bands heard on country radio. Given Marble’s background, it fit.
“My mom was a hippie, my dad was a cowboy, and I’m a weird mix of both of them,” Marble said. “I’ve been blessed to have the weird life I have, but it comes out in the music. They’re the only band I could ever see playing with me.”
Future plans for Marble and His Amazing Hippies are regional shows and summer festivals throughout the Southwest.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at Liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.