A New Year and a New Face in Wynntown...
[updated 7th January 2017]
Well, happy new year one and all!
Certainly, based on the outcome of various elections/referenda and the humungous amount of celebrities who passed away, 2016 seemed to be a bit of a sh1tty year for most of us. Also, things didn't end so well in Wynntown as 2016 saw us somehow manage to 'misplace' our entire rhythm section of Murdoch (bass) and Kenny (drums).
So, we thought we'd try and lift everyone's spirits as we begin a new year...
In addition to having recently appointed a great new drummer (Simon Walker), we are delighted to announce that we have also secured the services of the wonderful David McKee on bass and backing vocals!
For those of you based in and around the central belt, Dave should be a 'well-kent face'. He is a founder member of the wonderful Edinburgh-based Americana/powerpop band The Sunshine Delay - a band who, coincidentally, also feature original Marshals' lead guitar demon, Iain Barbour, as well as Dave's 'other half', Paula.
Dave came along to our studio for a wee jam a week or two before Christmas and slotted in effortlessly. Dave is a fantastic, musical bassist and shares a lot of musical influences with us. He is also a bloody lovely bloke too. So we have lucked out on this one!
We are all totally amazed at how quickly we have managed to get ourselves back up to having a full complement of Marshals in the wake of Murdo's surprise departure and Kenny's decision to hand his badge in earlier in the year.
Keith, Richie and myself are all really excited to be starting the new year with Simon and Dave onboard and we will commence work on some new material at the start of the week. We also hope to have some gig news to share in the next week or two.
In the meantime, all the best for 2017 and please join us in welcoming Dave aboard HMS Wynntown...
Some sad news...
[updated 26th November 2016]
It is with heavy hearts that we bring you some more sad news...
Our bass-playing, songwriting colleague of 6 years, Murdoch MacLeod, has decided to hand in his Marshals' badge.
It came as a huge surprise to us all this morning but there was no dramatic name-calling or vase-throwing!
Eloquent as ever, and over a couple of messages, Murdoch simply said to us:
"I'm sorry it was so sudden but, after a lot of soul-searching, I just thought it best to let you know immediately.
It was brilliant and I'm deeply proud of the band and you guys. It has been an honour and a privilege and a pleasure to have had the chance to play in the Marshals with you all. There's a great new drummer on board, so get a new bass player soon.
Upwards and onwards, brothers.
Love you, Murdo."
Obviously, with Simon (Walker - drums) having just joined the band in the wake of Kenny's departure and now Murdo leaving, it might appear to some of you that the band is at some kind of critical crossroads in its history.
However, the four of us are feeling remarkably positive. We are just about to embark upon making the next album and that is always an exciting time in Wynntown. We are really driven to make a great new record.
Rather than feeling sorry for ourselves and wallowing in self-pity, let us celebrate the 6 years that one of my best friends was in the band with us. With Murdoch on board, there was never a dull moment! That's for sure!
We all wish Murdoch all the best of luck in whatever he does next.
If anyone out there is interested (or knows of anyone who might be) in the vacant bass slot, please PM us here or email [email protected]
As our departing friend said, "Upwards and onwards..."
Iain, Keith, Richie, and Simon xo
There's a New Kid on the Block...
[updated 25th October 2016]
"Well, that didn't take you guys long, did it?!", we hear you say.
As you all know, the wonderful Kenny McCabe recently played his final gig with the band - as we helped Kevin Morris celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Glasgow Americana festival with a headline show at the Hug & Pint.
As sad as it was to see Kenny go after 4 years in the band, we were all 100% committed to finding a suitable replacement to fill the drumstool as quickly as possible. And we have done just that!
Please welcome Simon Walker to the band!
We all (sorta) knew Simon from a few years back as we used to share a rehearsal room with one of his previous bands (The Last September) and, bizarrely, Kenny actually used Simon's Pearl kit when he auditioned with us in that room in the summer of 2012, after our original drummer Keith Jones handed his badge in! Small world, huh?
Simon has also played with well-respected Scottish songsmith, Aaron Wright, and brings a wealth of experience, 'chops', musicality, and backing vocals in to the fold, and we are delighted to have him on board.
Our very dear friend (and producer) Andrew Taylor (from Dropkick) will play with us this Friday when we open for the legendary Wishbone Ash.
After that, we will get together with Simon and hatch some plans for the year ahead. Those plans will DEFINITELY include putting a new album together and some gigs.
Until then, show Simon some lovin'...
Keith, Iain, Murdoch, and Richie xo
Some (Kinda) Marshals-Related News...
[updated 12th October 2016]
We don't often talk about things outside of Wynntown on this page, but there's something pretty special going on in our 'hometown' of Edinburgh next week.
One of the Marshals' first ever gigs took place down in Tingewick in Buckinghamshire and featured the original 4-piece line-up that recorded our debut EP - Keith Benzie on vocals and acoustic, Iain Barbour on lead guitar, Simon Ritson on bass, and Keith Jones on drums/BVs. That night, the band opened up for one of our biggest influences - the inimitable Richmond Fontaine.
As most of you may have heard, Willy Vlautin and the guys are visiting these shores for the last ever time over the next few weeks, and another of our good friends - the wonderful Peter Bruntnell - is opening up on all the dates.
As if this wasn't exciting enough for fans who love alt.country/Americana/whatever, I (Iain) am delighted to announce that I'll also be sitting in with Pete and playing some pedal steel at the show at The Caves in Edinburgh next week - Tuesday 18th October to be precise.
I recently sat in with Peter and his band at his 13th Note gig in Glasgow after Keith and I had opened the night with a stripped-back duo set, and it was a real privilege. I am a BIG fan of his. We both are.
Also on the bill at The Caves on Tuesday is American singer-songwriter, Jerry Joseph.
I can tell you with some confidence that the show has VERY nearly sold out! So, if you haven't got tickets yet, go and remedy that now by clicking here.
See you there. Come and say "Hi".
P.S. Just a wee reminder to contact us directly if you are interested in buying one of a very limited quantity of specially-priced tickets for the upcoming show with Wishbone Ash at the Jam House in Edinburgh on Friday 28th October. You can message us directly via the Contact page, or through our Facebook or Twitter accounts
Quick Gig Update
[updated 26th September 2016]
Our next headline show will be at The Hug & Pint in Glasgow on Friday 7th October, where we'll help Kevin Morris of The Fallen Angels Club celebrate the 10th anniversary of Glasgow Americana festival.
We are delighted to have the wonderful Kenny McCabe (temporarily) back on board for this show but it WILL be the last time he takes a bow as a "Wynntown Marshal". So, please come along and give him a rousing send-off and help us show our appreciation for the 3+ plus years of hard work, effort, passion and commitment he has shown during that time.
Support comes from the mighty First Charge of the Light Brigade, who'll be opening the night in their duo format.
The Hug & Pint is an intimate venue - significantly smaller than Stereo, where we played our last Glasgow headline show. So this WILL sell out! So, please get your tickets here asap.
Further details of the festival programme can be found here.
Furthermore, after sitting on this news for what seems like forever, we can now officially announce that The Marshals will also be opening for rock legends Wishbone Ash!
The show takes place at The Jam House in Edinburgh on Friday 28th October 2016.
This is a very special gig for Iain especially as he has been a huge fan of "The Ash" since he was about 11 (true story), when his brother returned home from University with a few of their albums. Furthermore, Wishbone Ash at Ayr Pavilion in 1984 was his second ever gig. The current line-up of Wishbone Ash is (genuinely) unbelievable. Great songs, great vocal harmonies, superlative guitar work, and just pure class.
Some people might be surprised to find a band commonly referred to as an 'Americana' band opening for WA. But listen closely to those harmony guitar parts that have perpetuated every Marshals' release - from "You Can Have My Heart" through "Tide" to "There Was A Time" and "Moby Doll"... The clues and influences have been there for the keen-eared ones amongst you.
It's gonna be a great night - as well as ourselves, the wonderful Doris Brendel and local legends Safehouse are also on the bill.
If anyone is interested in going, a limited number of specially-priced tickets can be bought directly from the band too.
Keith, Iain, Murdoch, Richie, and Kenny xo
Finally... A News Update from Those Pesky Marshals!
[updated 20th April 2016]
So, once again, we apologise for the length of time between news updates from Wynntown. Can you believe it's been nearly a year?! Anyway, we have lots to share right now.
We've got some good news and some bad news. Let's start off with the positive stuff first...
After a relatively quiet start to 2016, things now really start to heat up for us. We have a bundle of shows coming up between now and the middle of June.
Firstly, we play Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms with our good friends Dropkick and Andy Tucker this Friday (22nd April). Dropkick have just released their wonderful new album "Balance The Light" and it's been getting great reviews all over Europe, and was Roddy Hart's 'Album of Note' on BBC Radio Scotland last week. In recognition of their new album launch, Dropkick will share 'headline' status with us for this gig and will play a full-length set. Also, after a wee while away from releasing music, Andy Tucker will kick the evening off with songs from his brand new EP 'Superfluous Hokum' and he'll be accompanied by Kat Healy. Tickets are still available here with a few being held back for sale at the door. Get there early as we have a lot of great music to pack in on the night.
Then, next weekend, we head off to Ireland to play the world-renowned Kilkenny Roots Festival. We played there in 2008 and 2009 and have been desperately trying to get back on to the bill for the last 6 years or more - such is the demand for places at this amazing event! There are some amazing bands appearing this year and we cannot wait to get there to meet our old friends and (hopefully) make some new ones too! It'll be lovely (but a tad bittersweet) to catch up with Willy, Dan, and Sean from Richmond Fontaine again as they are taking their final bow on life together as a band at Roots 2016. As for us? Well, we will be playing FIVE shows in a 48-hour period! The good news is that entry is absolutely free at each one! The online version of the 2016 festival programme can be found here, and details of our shows can be located here.
Then we will be home for a month or so before heading back over to Germany for a clutch of dates.
We kick off our short run of German appearances with a headline show at the wonderful Music Star in Norderstedt (north Hamburg) on Thursday 9th June, and we round things off in Oberhausen on Saturday 11th June at the inaugural Static Roots Festival, where we will be joined by an illustrious cast of Daniel Romano, Leeroy Stagger, Malojian, John Blek and the Rats, and The Midnight Union Band.
Sandwiched in between these two great gigs is a double-bill show in Heilbronn on Friday 10th June with Stacie Collins and her incredible band. What makes this show extra special is that we will be celebrating the birthday of our label boss (Edgar Heckmann) at the spiritual home of Blue Rose Records - the Red River Saloon! This show WILL sell out, so advance purchase is absolutely essential. Click here to pick one up. This will be a fantastic night. That is guaranteed!
But, now, we leave you with some sad news...
As excited as all us Marshals are about our forthcoming gigs, our performances will be tinged with some sadness. After almost 4 years in Wynntown, our drummer Kenny McCabe has decided to hand in his Marshals' badge after this upcoming run of shows.
Kenny joined the band in the summer of 2012 after Keith, Murdoch and myself had endured a difficult 12-18 months when we all collectively nearly threw in the towel. But for Kenny's energy, enthusiasm, and speed at helping us transform rough sketches of songs in to fully-realised arrangements, I doubt that we'd have made it through that period intact. Together we created 'The Long Haul' and attracted the interest of Blue Rose Records in 2013. With a new, vibrant, enthusiastic drummer and label on board, we made HUGE leaps forward in terms of profile and 'artistic output'. Then the momentum of that and all the shows we played together helped carry us forward and led to the creation and release of 'The End of the Golden Age' in 2015.
We have yet to meet a single soul who believes that the current line-up of the band is not the strongest or most consistent since the band's formation in 2007.So, it is with VERY heavy hearts that we have to pass on this sad news to you all. As well as being a fabulous drummer, Kenny is really easy-going, immensely reliable, and does a lot of carrying gear and driving stuff about that nobody knows about. He works hard to keep the Marshals 'engine' ticking over. He'll be sorely missed.
But we want Kenny to go out with a BIG bang! So please come along to some of these final Kenny-fied gigs and encourage your friends and fellow music-lovers to come along to give The Boy McCabe the rollicking send-off that he so richly deserves.
On the upside, we ARE continuing to work away on new material and already have 2 brand new songs in the can for our next album (with our producer Andrew Taylor from Dropkick occupying the drumstool on these new recordings).So, don't fear... As devastating as it will be to lose Kenny, The Marshals are NOT breaking up. There WILL be a new album out in 2017.
In the meantime, if you know any versatile and able drummers who might be eager/stupid enough to want to join a band of curmudgeonly, opinionated, middle-aged windbags who play a humongously unhip style of music, please get in touch with us.
Iain, Keith, Murdoch, Richie, and (probably) for the last time) Kenny xo
The End of the Golden Age - out now!
[updated 15th May 2015]
So, the new album is out now and we're so proud and excited about our new release that we wanted to remind you of the exciting packages that are available for you right now...
- Immediate Download of "The End Of The Golden Age" in the file format of your choice, from .mp3 to various lossless formats [£7.00]
- CD of "The End Of The Golden Age" in a digipack featuring the fabulous Tom Gauld Artwork [£10.00 plus P&P]
- 180g Vinyl LP of "The End Of The Golden Age" featuring a full gatefold sleeve of the fabulous Tom Gauld Artwork [£16.50 plus P&P]
We are also offering two exclusive 'bundles' featuring a high quality, limited edition [1 of only 50 in the whole world]] signed print of the album artwork by Tom Gauld
- CD of "The End Of The Golden Age" and a limited edition print [£35.00 plus P&P]
- 180g Vinyl LP of "The End Of The Golden Age" and a limited edition print [£40.00 plus P&P]
All these, and more, can be purchased over at www.thewynntownmarshals.com/shop
We're taking our Americana gospel out and about and, for those in the Edinburgh area, we're playing an acoustic in-store at Coda Music on the Mound on Friday 22nd May, starting at 5pm. So join us for music, snacks and beers. We'll even sign your new album for you! We're nice like that...
For those further afield, we begin our next European tour adventure on 28th May and you can find your closest city on our "Shows" page.
We then come back (hopefully brimming with confidence!) for our official Edinburgh launch show at the Ballroom in the Voodoo Rooms on Friday 12th June. Tickets are already selling fast and you can get yours at Ripping Records' website.
Thanks again for your incredible support so far. We're looking forward to seeing many of you over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, here's a wee video of the making of "The End Of The Golden Age" to give you a taster of the songs and the process behind it here
Keith, Iain, Murdo, Kenny and Richie xo
The End of the Golden Age - pre-order your copy today
[updated 23rd April 2015]
It's been a while since you were last updated. I know some/most of you have kept up with the goings on in Wynntown HQ by the wonderful means of our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Well, we've been working away feverishly to bring you a brand spanking new 10-track album, just in time for the summer months. And now it's time to let our 'babies' fly from the nest...
The new album entitled 'The End Of The Golden Age' will be officially released via our wonderful label, Blue Rose Records, throughout Europe from May 8th, but you have a chance to pre-order yours today...and we have some interesting limited edition packages for you to choose from!
We've been extremely fortunate to have the renowned illustrator Tom Gauld (Guardian, New Yorker) to have designed bespoke cover art, which we adore!
Tom has also very kindly allowed us to make available a limited edition run of just fifty (50) 15.7" x 8.7" (398 x 220mm for all you metric enthusiasts) prints, and he will sign and number these. These strictly limited prints are only available as bundles - either with a CD or Vinyl copy of the album. Due to advance demand for these, we strongly advise you not to sit back and wait to buy one at our merch table when we hit the road next month. The only way to guarantee securing one of these beautiful pieces of original art is to pre-order one asap.
Also as another first for the Wynntown Marshals, we're delighted to be releasing the album on 180g vinyl with a spectacular gatefold sleeve - again depicting the fabulous Tom Gauld cover art...(a wee word of warning though, due to a minor delay at the pressing plant, the Vinyl will not be shipped until mid May)
All these are available for you to pre-order over at our Bandcamp webstore and with EVERY pre-order you'll get an instant download of 'Red Clay Hill' to enjoy straight away.
In addition to the new album, we also have a new Twitter account, so if Twitter is your social media channel of choice, why not follow us on @wynntownhq
The album has already been well received by those select few who have heard advance promo copies. The first official review (from those lovely folks over at Blabber 'n' Smoke) gushed with praise and said "While The Long Haul portrayed a band triumphant in the face of adversity, here they are riding a wave of popular acclaim and success.." Which is nice....
We want to leave you with some diary entries, as we are embarking on another headline tour of Germany and Holland towards the end of May, full details can be obtained here.
For those of you closer to home we'll be having our official Album Launch gig on Friday 12 June at Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms. Having sold out the intimate Speakeasy on 3 previous occasions, this time we will be headlining the larger Ballroom with our special guests and very dear friends Dropkick (featuring Andrew Taylor - producer of the last two Marshals' albums) opening the show. Tickets are selling well already, and you can get yours here
Finally, you know us kind folks here at Wynntown HQ don't like to leave you empty-handed so, as a taster of things to come, please click here to watch the video for 'Red Clay Hill" the lead track to the new album. The track features the gorgeous guest vocals of our good friend Hannah Elton-Wall from the Redlands Palamino Co.
We hope you enjoy it, and if so, remember you can pre-order your copy of the album today.
Thanks everyone for your support and patience, and stay tuned for more regular updates
Keith, Iain, Murdoch, Kenny, and Richie xo
The Nights are Drawing In...
[updated 3rd October 2013]
At this time of the year most folks normally start winding down and huddling around the fire in preparation for those cold winter nights... but NOT if you are a Marshal! If anything, things are about to get even more hectic than usual as we approach Christmas. "So, what's 'the goss'?", I hear you ask...
Our 'lead story' is that Keith is currently on 'paternity leave' as his wife Fiona gave birth to a beautiful little boy on Saturday 21st September! Welcome to Wynntown, little Lyall Benzie!
In other news, we are currently scheduling European dates for April 2014, and have also confirmed a few Scottish gigs between now and the end of the year.
Even more exciting than that though is the fact that we've been invited to play in Hannover, Germany at the Blue Rose Records Christmas Party at the famous Blues Garage on Saturday 7th December. Also on the bill are Hardpan, Ad Vanderveen, and Shurman. More details abnout all our forthcoming shows can be found here.
As you will know from our last news update, we recently signed to Blue Rose Records, who have licensed "The Long Haul" for a full European release. The album came out in Germany on 20th September, and the initial reception from critics and music fans has been amazing! We were blown away by the reviews from elsewhere and it seems that the Germans have really taken the album to their hearts too... So far, at least!
As an extension of the Blue Rose Records deal and in a ‘first' for Marshals' fans, Blue Rose have made "The Long Haul" available on vinyl through a MAIL ORDER ONLY exclusive on their website! Better still, each custom LP is a unique copy, done ‘by request' only, and you will have your name pressed on to the LP label! Blue Rose use high quality, 180g vinyl and, since the running time of "The Long Haul" is around 50 minutes, the vinyl edition is a 3-sided, 2-LP set. Nice, huh?
This one-off, collectible format will only set you back €24,90 plus postage and packing costs. Full details are available on the Blue Rose website (select our name from the foot of the list of our fellow Blue Rose artists down the left-hand side and click on the "2-LP Personal Vinyl" option from the menu).
For those new to the party, you can enjoy a Blue Rose-themed video sampler for "The Long Haul" here.
In July, a few days before "The Long Haul" was released in Europe, we recorded an interview for Andrew Moir's "This Is The Show" podcast. All five of the band were present and we talked about a whole load of stuff - the creative process from writing to recording; the line-up changes and the impact this had on the band and the direction the new album took; the future; recording vs. playing live; and so on. The interview wound up with Keith and Iain performing a lovely, exclusive, stripped-down duo version of "Curtain Call", and you can hear the whole show here.
A few days later, we all trooped down to the beautiful setting of Cramond on the Firth of Forth to shoot a video for "Tide". In true Scottish style, despite it being officially ‘summer', the weather was typically (cough) ‘uninviting', but the grey skies, the shivering band members, and the charcoal waves crashing off the rocks around us and lapping at our feet seemed somehow more apt for the mood of the song. Anyhow, here is the finished article for your visual ‘pleasure'.
The News You've All Been Waiting For...
[updated 18th July 2013]
We are delighted to announce that The Wynntown Marshals are now part of the Blue Rose Records family!
We have agreed a licensing deal for "The Long Haul" to receive an official release through Blue Rose Records in Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland!
The aim is to have the album in the shops by September 2013 (or as close as possible, dependent upon distributors' schedules in each territory).
This is great news and we'd like to thank each and every one of you for all your support you've given the band over the last 6 years or so. We wouldn't be here without an audience!
Also, notable mentions must go out to:
- Edgar Heckmann at Blue Rose for showing faith in the Marshals
- our dear friend Dietmar Leibecke for his tireless (and unpaid - we're Scottish remember!) work for us in Europe
- our booking agent Karen Proeme (who might become even busier now!)
- our fantastic PR team of Hans Broere, Jim Soars and Bob Buchan who have put in a ton of hard work since 2009
We now join a label whose list of past and present releases reads like a 'who's who' of the Americana, alt.country, and roots scene - Band of Heathens, Leeroy Stagger, Boz Scaggs, Sons of Bill, Bottle Rockets, June Carter Cash... and now US!
Have a beer on us tonight! ;o)
Onwards and upwards...
The Waiting is the Hardest Part...
[updated 1st May 2013]
Well, the time has finally come... Some of you will probably have taken part in the build-up to today, and now is your first chance to own the next chapter in The Wynntown Marshals' history.
As well as today seeing the live debut of our new line-up where we will premiere a sizeable chunk of tracks from our forthcoming album "The Long Haul", you can also pre-order your copy from today AND receive a hefty discount to boot! If you sign up to our mailing list now (see the top right-hand corner of this page), we'll send you an email containing a discount code entitling you to a 15% reduction on pre-orders!
To keep you going, you'll also get an instant download of "Low Country Comedown" to take away and enjoy whilst you wait until the release date when the remaining tracks will be emailed to you or, if you're a lover of all things 'physical' (and who isn't?), we haven't forgotten about you. The 15% discount also applies to orders of the actual CD as well as the download. But hurry if you want one... they're limited stock!
As you'll already have noticed, today also sees the launch of our new-look website where you can see upcoming tour dates, listen to ALL Wynntown Marshals' releases (old and new), keep up to date with the latest news, and view our gallery of pictures and videos...
Speaking of videos, as a teaser we shot a video for "Low Country Comedown" and you can see it by clicking here.
Enjoy the site, enjoy the songs, and happy shopping.
See you out there