Soul Searching: An Interview with Joe Marson

According to his official Facebook page, here’s how to make a Joe Marson:

Step 1: Blend key ingredients on high: the art of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the grace of Jeff Buckley, the soul of Ben Harper and craft of Jimi Hendrix.

Step 2: Notice how mixture takes the form of a unique, soulful singer/songwriter.

Step 3: Serve at high volume.

After spending six years on what has been described as a “soul searching journey”, Marson's next adventure starts with the premiere of his latest single entitled “No Retreat”. Through his journey he immersed himself in a multitude of music genres while travelling all across the US. Hip-hop in Oregon, jazz in Boston, folk in Arizona and blues in Austin are just some of the places he stopped and learned the musical history of. “I just really tried to be as diverse as I could with my musical background. I have a really firm belief that soul permeates genre…It can be found in any genre of music; it’s not defined,” he said.

In addition to his travels, Joe was also a 2015 Guitar Center Competition finalist. After entering the competition, it essentially went under the radar until a casual day in the studio when Marson got an Instagram notification. He was one of the five chosen out of 14,000 applicants and would be receiving a charitable prize in addition to a chance to perform at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

His music may still be relatively new to most listeners, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard him before. Marson's tunes have made appearances on television shows such as FX’s Justified, Netflix’s Bloodline and even Marvel’s Deadpool film. With the unique sounds and timeless lyrics, larger scale plugs are sure to be in his future.

But back to his current adventure. “No Retreat” encompasses the genre blending techniques that he’s learned from travelling and is just a taste of the variety that’s on the upcoming record. The song’s original purpose was for a film, which ultimately went a different direction and ended up not using the song, and gave Joe the opportunity to learn slide guitar. He came back to the song six months later, with a different mindset and bits and pieces from other work to really bring it together. It was a no-brainer that it needed to be shared with the world. “It started out thematic as I was writing it for the movie. I came back to it half a year later and remembered that I had this one part and took some parts from another song. I never recorded slide guitar before so I learned how to play because I just knew that the song needed it. After that it all just fell into place,” he said.

So what’s next for Joe Marson? Although he’s said that he doesn’t plan out most things in life more than a month in advance, you can definitely expect more music and more adventure.