Marshall and the Fro
Marshall and the Fro

Marshall and the Fro launch album

MARSHALL O’KELL might just be the hardest-working musician in Australia. In 2009 alone, he and his band, Marshall and the Fro, performed 200 shows.

Then they spent three months locked away in the recording studio with producer Anthony Lycenko.

Which brings us to the month of May and there is just enough time for Marshall to draw breath for an interview for Pulse before the release of their latest studio album Friends For Life at the Hotel Great Northern.

His rootsy blend of blues and rock has taken him all over our sunburnt country and by the sounds of his freshly released album, things are about to get a lot hotter.

“I go somewhere in the cosmos when I play, time stops and I really don’t know how long I’m out sometimes,” Marshall says of his passionate approach to performance.

“When a massive crowd goes off I step further. I’m excited to find out how far a huge explosive crowd can push me.”

Marshall and the Fro’s dynamic live shows have made the band regulars on Australia’s festival scene. They’ve played at the Bluesfest, Woodford Folk Festival and almost everywhere in between.

Once the album is launched, Marshall will start up the band van and hit the road for an eight-week tour.

“We can’t wait to get back on the road,” he says. “We’ve spent almost four months making the record and ‘Mad Max’ our tour van has been calling us.”

The much-anticipated second studio release is an amalgamation of years of creative ideas and experiences. Take for instance, the slow and melodic Bleeding Hearts which showcases a reflective and emotive quality.

“This album draws on different experiences and emotions to the last one,” he says. “It touches on heartbreak, loss … being broken down and bouncing back up.”

However, you can also expect the foot-thumping blues-infused sound Marshall has made his own.

A key to the success of this local band is that they are 100 per cent independent, self-funded and self-managed. Marshall has always been at the front of the push to get original music into Northern Rivers venues.

“When it was starting the John Butlers and Ben Harpers all started becoming a bit popular so I just told all the venues that I played covers of those bands. I got the gig and didn’t play any covers. I just went in and went really hard and they asked us back,” he recalled.

Since then, the band has shared the bill with the likes of Ben Harper, Wolfmother and Blue King Brown.

So get out this weekend and support genuine local independent music. The album will be on sale and expect a loud crowd celebrating these local legends.

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