Psychic or sceptic, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a man born under a full moon, on a Good Friday the 13th, must have ‘something’ to answer for? Well Marshall Okell is certainly up to ‘something’. As his timely arrival into the world set precedent, there’s certainly nothing ‘ordinary’ about it.
Aptly named after two of music’s greatest rock/bluesmen (Jimi ‘Marshall” Hendrix and Johnny ‘Dawson’ Winter) Marshall Dawson Okell was born on April 13th, 1979, into a Rock n Roll arena, with a guitar case for a crib. His father was a Melbourne based rock-n-roll guitarist and Marshall’s stomping greatest lifetime influence, nourishing his son’s musical appetite with the sounds of Hendrix, Winter, Muddy Waters, Little Feat and AC/DC. Nestled amongst the roaring sounds of his father’s amplifiers, the young Marshall found his groove and a musical sensation was born.
Growing up on the NSW far North Coast, Marshall’s stomping ground embraced the pumping surfing scenes of Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Ballina, where he fostered a strong connection with his local environment and the community.
Now in his 30’s and with up to 200 live gigs a year as part of his repertoire, Marshall has developed into an Aussie rocking bluesman like no other. His ever-expanding list of musical accolades includes awards for the 2012 ‘Best Blues & Roots Artist’ at the Oz Music Awards. He has also been a winner of the ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Song of the Year’, ‘Best Male Vocal’, ‘Best Protest’ and ‘Best Blues & Roots Artist’ at the NCEIA Dolphin Awards.
Arriving in 2015, his development as a musician is starkly evident in his fourth, yet to be titled album. With years of playing now under his belt, Marshall has made a notable return to the music of his youth, combining his love for legendary Soul and Blues singers like Little Feat, The Allman Brothers, Hat Fitz, Mavis Staples and Muddy Waters, with his undisguisable Hendrix, 70’s Woodstock sound.
The result is a deep, raw, honest, dirty blues sound that grabs you by the throat and then soothes you with the sweet honey tasting musical medicine. There are pure guts, sweat and emotion in his latest material that leave you exhausted and elated in their wake.
Byron Bay – New South Wales, Australia
Marshall OKell – vocals, guitar