Home Read Albums Of The Week: Jeshua Marshall | The Flood

Albums Of The Week: Jeshua Marshall | The Flood

Larry And His Flask's bassist finds life after folk-punk — but diving headfirst into the warm, jammy waters of his ska / dub / jazz / soul / everything-influenced solo album.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Most artists will tell you that they sing about what they feel. Jeshua Marshall lives the music that he sings. From the time he was nine, when he was first inspired by a visit from Jimi Hendrix in a dream and subsequently gifted his first guitar, through to the formation of his sibling-based band Larry And His Flask and now, some 20 years later, music has been mainstay of his life, the thing that’s inspired him, driven him and now, brought him to the precipice of the recognition he so decidedly deserves.

He’s worked tirelessly to get to this point. He and his band toured relentlessly, performing in all 50 states in the U.S., every providence in Canada, no less than 15 European countries, and in parts of the Middle East. A multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, he conveys both passion and purpose in equal measure, a culmination of the hopes and aspirations that first fueled him as child in a family that split their time between the upper realms of the States and the sprawling southern environs of British Columbia.

With the anticipation for his second individual album, The Flood — a followup to his highly praised solo debut Shoot The Moon, released in the fall of 2021 — Jeshua is poised to make an indelible mark on the musical landscape in ways his fans and followers have long predicted. In so doing, he cites what he says was an exhilarating and exuberant experience, which he and the other musicians managed to capture live in only one or two takes.

Photo by Lily-Marie Hudnell-Almas.

Co-produced by Jeshua and Todd Rosenberg, who also engineered, and recorded at FUZZ Phonic Studios in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, The Flood runs a stylistic gamut, from the brass-infused reggae of the aptly titled Swing and the sway and saunter of Agua Es Vida (a duet sung in Spanish with guest vocalist Yanin Saavedra), to the sultry and sensual stride of Wave, the energized and upbeat Closed Doors and the sprightly sound of Ride.

Water, the album’s first single, is a cover of a song written by Willy Tea Taylor about Taylor’s hometown of Knights Ferry, California, which is located in the central valley at the foothills of Yosemite. The song is about a rain event that was seemingly unrelenting at the time. “Knights Ferry is a very special place to me, a home away from home,” Jeshua explains. “As a result, I fell in love with this song and learned it directly from Willy while I was touring through Scandinavia while playing bass for him in 2017.”

Subsequently, the treatment took a decided turn once he shared it with the other musicians. “When I brought it to my band they completely rearranged it,” Jeshua recalls. “They accelerated the tempo and added the horn lines, which were written by my horn section consisting of Miguel Mendoza on trumpet and Wendi Wampler on clarinet. The rest of the band — Davey Hemm on bass, Seth Acquarolo on guitar and Todd Rosenberg on drums — changed up the rhythm by giving it more of a funky feel. This song is usually the only cover songs in the setlist and it’s one of my favorite songs to play live!”

So too, certain songs take on special meaning. Jeshua describes the surreal In A Dream as “an ethereal experience, one that explores loss and longing in an appropriately dream-like state.” The ska sounding title track conveys what he calls “a message of unity, perseverance and sheer unfettered determination.” Unbound is as freewheeling and uplifting as its title implies, a song that, in Jeshua’s words, “taps into certain disparities and mental health issues through a sonic folk-punk lens.”

Photo by Richard Oniell.

Jeshua’s muse came to him naturally early on. The sounds of rock ’n’ roll echoed from the car radio during rides to and from church, while the sounds associated with the folk music of his family’s native Canada was shared by his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Nevertheless, like many youngsters raised in the strict confines of religious orthodoxy, Jeshua began to rebel against the staid confines of his conservative upbringing. He was drawn towards the secular sounds that were considered a form of heresy, and he fortified himself on the music that was smuggled into the house by his bold older brother Jamin. By the time he was eleven, he had already immersed himself in the extreme ethos of pure punk, as expressed by such albums as Bad Religion’s Stranger Than Fiction, Rancid’s And Out Comes The Wolves and NOFX’s Heavy Petting Zoo. He found that all it took was three chords and a mix of grunge and distortion to find his way towards the truth and satisfaction he had sought for his own personal salvation.

It was hardly surprising, then, that he took those lessons learned and formed his raucous and rebellious punk band Larry And His Flask with his brother at age 16. The band eventually gained fame for its fusion of reckless abandon and a certain folk-like finesse. They toured relentlessly until calling it quits in 2019, allowing Jeshua to channel his energies into a style that seemed better suited to the more measured and reflective songs that were quickly becoming part and parcel of his ever-expanding musical palette.

His efforts paid off. He garnered over 100,000 streams before receiving an ultimate honor, the Best New Artist award from the People’s Choice Award in Bend. It also found him sharing stages with artists such as Dirtwire, Fishbone, Willy Tea Taylor, Beats Antique, Joshua Ray Walker, Possessed by Paul James, Danny Attack, Bridge City Sinners and more. Now, on the verge of making the next significant step in his career, Marshall remains more committed to his craft than ever. “Music, for me, is medicine, therapy and connection.”


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