Nick Hornby carries a torch for Marah

Nick Hornby and Marah members David Bielanko and Christine Smith

Nick Hornby and Marah

Editor’s note: Yeah, we know…Nick Hornby, the acclaimed author of High Fidelity and About A Boy, is not a musician…so why is he quoted here on Rocktorch.com? Well, we’re making an exception, dammit, because there’s a new Marah record coming out on June 22 that you can order now and the band is currently on tour, so let’s celebrate the band by looking back at one one of the most passionate endorsements of a band that you’ll ever read:

“…what I love about {Marah} is that I can hear everything I ever loved about rock music in their recordings and in their live shows. Indeed, in the shows you can often hear their love for the rock canon uninflected — they play covers of the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait,” or the Jam’s “In the City,” and they usually end with a riffed-up version of the O’Jays’ “Love Train.” They play an original called “The Catfisherman” with a great big Bo Diddley beat, and they quote the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” and the Who’s “Magic Bus.” And they do this not because they’re a bar band and people expect cover versions, but because they are unafraid of showing where their music comes from, and unafraid of the comparisons that will ensue…”

–Nick Hornby for the New York Times (2004), full article here

MP3: Valley Farm Song by Marah from their new album, Life Is A Problem

David Bielanko of Marah carries a torch for Dexter Romweber of The Flat Duo Jets

David Bielanko and Dexter Romweber

David Bielanko and Dexter Romweber

The recommendation from David Bielanko, singer and guitarist for Marah: “Lately I’ve been listening to Dexter Romweber/The Flat Duo Jets a lot. Dexter is a channeler, a lot like Jerry Lee or Son House or some other such bad-ass. He’s so far into his own world that he’s nearly impossible to criticize or critique. On stage I’ve seen him and a drummer (Crow!) put audiences into a fevered devil trance, I’ve seen him play unrepeatable guitar parts and invert rhythms making two men sound like a train, like a blizzard. It would be easy for a novice to call him “retro” or “rockabilly” but fuck that, Dexter is a real punk, a rock n roller in the way that can’t be taught, a natural born killah. Check him out.”

The Source: Rock Torch Exclusive, 1/19/2010

More on: David Bielanko (of Marah) | Dexter Romweber

Editor’s Note: Marah was one of the bands that inspired me to start RockTorch.com in the first place (I found out about Marah by reading praise for the band from artists I love, saw them in Virginia and have been dragging friends to shows ever since), so this contribution from David is a huge honor. Viva Marah!