Marina Rocks likes to keep moving. Just look (and listen) to the Texas singer-songwriter and guitar slinger’s latest infectious single and video Joy Ride, a life-affirming encapsulation of the sweet, simple pleasure that comes from a freewheeling journey. Not surprisingly, the track — which showcased HERE recently — forms the emotional centre of her fourth solo album Austin to Houston, which reflects on the pint-size musician’s journey from her birthplace to her adopted home. Along the way, she has led the power trio The Guppies, played major venues with rock royalty such as Aerosmith, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Deep Purple and Joe Satriani, and more recently opened for Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, Joe Ely, Hayes Carll and Jesse Dayton. Today, Marina manages to sit still long enough to sprint through some of my ridiculous questions. Try to keep up:
What is your musical origin story?
I was born in Austin, Texas. My parents loved music, especially my mom. When I was about eight years old, my mom bought me a guitar and sought out teachers who offered different musical styles. I’m glad she did.
What’s your latest project?
The new album Austin To Houston, featuring the single Joy Ride.
What truly sets you apart from other artists?
I’m not sure what to say to that. We all are part of an arts community and travel similar and often difficult roads together while alone.
How will my life improve by listening to your music?
I hope it will bring joy and hope while taking a musical journey of our times.
Tell us about the first song you wrote and / or the first gig you played.
My first gig was in my school. I was an elementary student in a school with a junior high program. I was lucky the school’s junior high choir teacher saw me play, and often asked me to accompany the choir in school or on trips. The material was more challenging, which was a good thing.
What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you have given?
Not sure if it was my best performance, but a 12-minute jam with The Guppies playing an almost out-of-body version of Robin Trower’s Whisky Train still makes me smile.
Worst: I always give it my all.
Strangest: Cover band playing at a storefront car dealership.
Most memorable: I’m lucky there have been several favorites for me. Singing After The Fire Is Gone with Willie Nelson is a top five. Would love to do that again!
What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you’ve seen?
Best: Moody Blues, Stevie Ray Vaughn with Eric Johnson opening, Lucinda Williams’ LSD tour.
Worst: Wouldn’t be polite to say.
Strangest: Was fun, but I guess Kinky Friedman playing a 2×4.
What living or dead artists would you like to collaborate with?
Producer Dave Cobb, Lucinda Williams.
What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
What words do you hope people use when they describe you?
What useful (or useless) skills do you have outside of music?
Can hang drywall.
Who can you do an impression of?
Tell us a joke.
If money was no object, where would you live?
I would travel.
What would you like to be reincarnated as?
Me. I have a lot on my unfinished list to do.
Which historical event do you wish you had witnessed?
Mother Maybelle Carter playing Wildwood Flower, or Les Paul developing his famous guitar and recording techniques.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness / total misery?
Happiness: Health, family, friends, music.
Misery: Not having the above.
What are your pet peeves?
I don’t know if it’s a pet peeve, but I wish people would read a variety of credible news sources, and less junk on social media or so-called news sources.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
If you had one day to spend as you please without any consequences, what would you do?