Northern Rivers musician Marshall Okell.
Northern Rivers musician Marshall Okell.

Local rock blues muso Marshall Okell releases new album

ROCK blues aficionado Marshall Okell is releasing his fourth album, Sipping on Rocket Fuel.

Tracked in Byron Bay and mixed by Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine, Kasey Chambers, Bruce Springsteen), the new album takes Marshall back to his roots, bringing the boogie, the shuffle and the slide back into Okell's dirty blues sound.

We spoke to the local musician in the wake of the album release.

What are your memories of growing up on the Northern Rivers?

I spent a lot of hours in a recreation room in a Ballina caravan park with a 10-watt guitar amp and a mate with a similar rig.

I was either in the water surfing or playing guitar.

My dad (Glenn) played in local bands the whole time so we were lucky to have old musicians popping through and teaching us the odd chop.

It is what got me going, watching him play, you know?

Is there a theme through this album?

There are some similar themes for sure: drug and alcohol references and personal healing, a few break up tracks and a few get down and shake your ass tracks.

It's more of a boogie shake your ass album, I think.

Loads of energy and guitar solos.

What is the song I'll do Anything about?

I'll do Anything was co-written with a friend, Matt Cummins. It addresses male depression and was centred around the Movember concept of blokes talking and growing their moes into masterpieces.

The chorus says, "I'll do anything to get on top of you", and it's about the black dog and monsters under the bed.

Did your experience tutoring children mark your artistic development?

I started working in high schools when I was around 20 years old. I had already started playing in bands and making a crust from the live performances.

Working with kids in the Support Unit at Southern Cross K-12 was a ball.

I really had a total blast hanging with those grommets.

Some lunch times we would have 20 grommets with disabilities losing their mind in a fit of musical happiness.

That taught me how to stay happy.


Sipping on Rocket Fuel is out now via online retailers or in stores via Only Blues Music

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