Stepping into the world of Jeshua Marshall will take you on a journey shaped by a colorful blend of influences, including the rustic landscapes of British Columbia, and the rebellious sounds of punk rock.
Not a bad combo.
Growing up, Marshall would travel between Summerland, British Columbia, and Baker City, Oregon. At 16, Marshall would join teenage forces with his older brother Jamin, forming their own raucous folk-punk band, Larry and His Flask. The band would go on tour far and wide for years, pumping out music, and cementing their status as one the premier groups in the fold.
The band would call it a journey in 2019, and Jeshua would forge his own solo path, putting out his debut album, Shoot The Moon, in 2021. Recently, he received the Best New Artist award from the People’s Choice Awards in his home of Bend, Oregon.
Over the years, his musical stylings would evolve as they do. His newer music harnesses a unique percussive groove that offers a smooth center and rough edges, with introspective and honest lyricism, all the while oozing soul and swagger.
Marshall’s July 7th single, “Water,” – a cover of his friend Willy Tea Taylor – takes the listener on a dynamic aquatic journey, guiding them through crescendos of emotional intensity and introspective moments of quiet reflection. This single is off of his sophomore album, The Flood, which is set to release September 22nd.
Sharing stages with a diverse array of artists such as Dirtwire, Fishbone, Willy Tea Taylor, Beats Antique, Joshua Ray Walker, and many more, Marshall’s live performances exude a magnetic energy that effortlessly draws listeners in.
With a lot on the horizon, we got to talk with Marshall to learn more about his journey as a creative proprietor, the new single, album, and more.
So you grew up going back and forth between the U.S. and Canada. How might it have influenced your path to making music?
JM: I was influenced at a young age by Canadian folk music that my extended family played in Canada, and in the States I got into punk rock and hardcore, and was fully immersed in the local punk scene in middle and high school. Just the experience of constantly crossing the border definitely had an influence on my opinion of how governments treat people depending on the passport they hold.
At age 9, you received your first acoustic guitar from your parents. Looking back, how impactful was that moment?
JM: It was like being handed a puzzle with a lifetime to unlock.
What was the first song you learned to play?
JM: Hmm… I think it was “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. But honestly from the start I just wanted to write songs.
You’ve got your new single, “Water,” out now. What can you tell us about this track and why you chose to release it?
JM: This song is written by my dear friend and one of my favorite songwriters, Willy Tea Taylor. I learned it from him while playing bass on tour with him in Scandinavia in 2017. The original title of the song is “Knights Ferry California.” It is about his home town with a population of 100 people and three bars, located on the Stanislaus River at the foothills of Yosemite. I have spent a lot of time there over the years, and it has a very special place in my heart.
I see that it is off of your forthcoming album, The Flood. Why this album title, and are their any overarching themes and motifs?
JM: The Flood is the name of the title song, and my local backing band. It definitely has biblical meaning, being raised in a very conservative old testament-based church. That upbringing is etched into all I do whether I like it or not. Water is a huge theme of the album. Water, its weight and flexibility and ability to destroy and it being essential to life are all themes of life, death and rebirth. In a way, The Flood represents the end of something and the beginning of something new.
How would you describe your direction or style in this new album compared to your previous works?
JM: With this album, I recorded it in a couple days with the same musicians playing in a live manner bringing a certain energy that you can only get from that process.
Is there a song or two off the new album you might be most excited to perform live?
JM: “The Flood” and “In A Dream.”
What has been the most fulfilling part of making this album?
JM: Some of these songs I wrote years ago, to get out into the world sonically is super fulfilling.
You recently received the Best New Artist award from the People’s Choice Award in Bend, OR. What does this recognition and acclaim mean to you, and how might it impact your direction and future goals?
JM: It means a lot to know that I am supported and loved by the community here.
What does success as a songwriter and musician mean to you?
JM: To be constantly in practice of writing and tapping into the source of where the songs come from. For me, it’s a life long journey that I am on and never plan to cease.
What might you have in store post-album release? Touring, working on the next album, etc.?
JM: I will be touring the US/Canada and Europe this year, and will be getting into the studio in the fall to start working on the next project.
9/11 – Santa Fe, NM – TBA
9/12 – Albuquerque, NM – TBA
9/13 – Tucson, AZ – Groundworks
9/15 – Las Vegas, NV – The Red Dwarf
9/16 – Phoenix AZ – Yucca Tap Room
9/17 – Lomita, CA – Project Barley (w/ Water Tower)
9/18 – Los Angeles, CA – TBA
9/19 – Santa Cruz, CA – House Concert
9/21 – Nashville, TN – Eighth Room (Interstate 88)
9/23 – Redmond, OR – Cascade Equinox Festival
Note* Paul Howard contributed to this article.