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Bex Marshall

March 13, 2013
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DEVONSHIRE-BORN BEX MARSHALL fell into a family that was one part “landed gentry” and one part Irish Romany, but it seems the gypsy lifestyle won the battle for her soul. Her first period of wanderlust— at 18 years old—was as a croupier, traveling the globe working gaming tables. Similarly, her music is tough to pin down. Though rooted in blues and ragtime, Marshall juggles myriad stylistic influences, and loves mixing everything together during her two-hour-plus solo concerts.

“I love to power through, get in the zone, and not take a break,” says Marshall. “I don’t want to lose the energy, and I like to be creative and ‘spur of the moment.’ I mix up the songs so that there’s a good selection of dirty roots tunes, acoustic blues, gritty classic rock stuff, and ragtimes.”

Marshall does everything using one guitar and one amp—an Ozark resonator with a lipstick pickup through a Fender Frontman 25R. Her slide is a Dunlop “pinky” slide that she customizes by filling the metal tube with melted church wax and torturously sticking her pinky in to mold a perfect fit.

“It’s really painful,” she says. “I can’t do too many at the same time.”

Marshall recently released The House of Mercy [houseofmercy.tv], which she composed, performed, and produced all on her own, aided by engineer Nick Hunt.

“It’s my first attempt at actually creating something in its entirety,” she explains. “I had the freedom to just go with my gut instincts regarding the material. My influences have always been secondary to actually playing. I just wanted to sit down and pick out what I felt sounded good—to play everything I could possibly play that sounded beautiful on this guitar. As a result, all of my guitar parts on the album I feel are in my own style.”

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