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Joe Marson Has "Electric Soul Magic" in Hoboken

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 03/30/2015

"I'm from California originally, San Diego actually but I live in New York City just because I like the music scene here; it's better for touring. You can hit more places in less space; everything closer and more condensed," says Joe Marson of his decision to move east from his native California in pursuit of a music career. "I've not really tried the L.A scene but this is working out well." Joe Marson Has "Electric Soul Magic" in Hoboken

Marson, who lists his influences as Jeff Buckley, Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix wrote his first song at the age of fourteen but began playing guitar several years prior. "Yeah, when I was younger I walked into a music store and said I wanted to play guitar. From there I wanted to play like Jimi Hendrix and then I became a songwriter around the age of  sixteen or seventeen and then kind of got into other styles of music and went from there." 

Fast forward to 2014, where Joe's songwriting skills blossomed to the point of landing him the title of Preliminary Winner" in Guitar Center's "Singer/Songwriter 4" contest and his song "And the Lightning He Will Ride" was in episode 2, season 6  of the FX series "Justified." "Yeah it was pretty cool," he said of the Guitar Center contest. "I was one of five finalists out of 14,000 entrants. I didn't win the whole thing but still got 10,000 dollars in gear and was flown out to L.A. and stayed in this amazing hotel; a really good experience."

Joe, whose music has been described by "Best New Bands " as "Alternative folk rock with a defiant bluesy edge, full bodied and soulful," doesn't mind the attempts at trying to fit him in a certain genre but does offer his own take. "I'm not sure," he started slowly. "It's hard to pin down. It's like alternative rock and soul; I guess what back in the day radio would have called "Adult Contemporary" but I guess I fit into several different styles due to the fact that I have a bunch of different influences." 

On Wednesday April 1, Marson crosses the river into New Jersey for an 8 p.m. show at Maxwell's in Hoboken in support of his latest effort, a five song EP titled, "Electric Soul Magic." "This my second record; "Someday Soon" was my first one. I decided to do an EP this time instead of another full length because it's cheaper and no one is really buying albums these days; people are purchasing more singles. I'm an indie artist, I'm not signed to a big label and I have no big budget; for me it was cheaper to make a smaller record." 

The Maxwell's show will feature Joe and his four piece backing band, which he says he just "Put together" over the last couple of months. "We all just kind of came together over the last couple of months. One of the great things about living where I do, is that there is no shortage of really great talent. I've got guys with me from Brooklyn, the lower East Side and they're just great guys. When we play Maxwell's, you'll hear three part harmonies, a little acoustic, a little electric; we are going to create lots of live energy." 


Marson is a little less sure of his next moves beyond Maxwell's and shows in Philadelphia at World Cafe Live, New York's Columbia University, Stroudsburg, PA. and finishing out April in Boston, MA. but he has no problem saying so either. When asked what the future holds for Joe Marson, he said with a slight laugh, "Uh, I have no idea. I really have no clue; man that's a tough question. I don't know what's going to happen but I'll make the most of it." 

To discover more about Joe Marson, please go to .


Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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