FreeWheelin' Music Safari

New Blues – Bex Marshall – The House of Mercy

House of MercyBex Marshall’s album The House of Mercy caught my eye a couple of weeks ago and I had no idea how he artist was, so I went to MOG put on the album and was blown away by the title track!! So after being sufficiently impressed by the first listen to the album I went the Bex’s website and discovered that Bex was born in Devonshire England and now lives in London. She is the offspring of a diverse family one side being blue blooded landed gentry, the other Irish Romany. She’s been playing guitar since her Uncle Dave presented her with one on her 11th birthday. By the age of 18, she was a trained croupier, traveling the world working gaming tables on cruise liners to Park Lane, even dealing illegal poker games in Amsterdam. She hitch hiked the coast of Australia on cattle trains and always with a guitar on her back living and storing tales. The House of Mercy is her sophomore release coming on the heels of her successful début album, Kitchen Table, which rose to 13 on the USA ‘UK artists chart’ and number 20 in the USA national Americana Music Association Chart. (AMA Chart). The House of Mercy is now 31 on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart, a couple of weeks ago it was higher than that!Bex Marshall BandThe House of Mercy features The Bex Marshall Band composed of Barry Payne (acoustic bass), Crispin Taylor (drums), Danny Bryan (percussion), Toby Baker (keyboards) and newest edition, gospel singer Shola Adegorove. They are helped out by guests musicians include: Don Wayne Reno (banjo), Dale Reno (mandolin) & Jake Byers (acoustic bass) all from Hayseed Dixie. B J Cole (dobro), Eileen Healy (fiddle) and Brigitte DeMeyer adding backing vocals.

The album is full of great guitar riffs coupled with fine songwriting and vocals. Here’s what som others think about the album:

..a younger version of Bonnie Raitt. Seldom do we hear such blues inflected rawness in female guitar players and its so refreshing to hear it done with such authenticity and assurance’ – Folk and Roots Magazine UK

…at last a woman who plays guitar like a goddess, sings like an angel, writes like Dylan and smiles like the devil’ Booker T

Here’s the title track The House of Mercy. I love the fiddle and the dobro…… Bex certainly has made it on my list of blues musicians, who just happen to be women’s list to watch out for, joining the likes of Joanne Shaw Taylor, Samantha Fish and Laurie Morvan among others!!