Album: The Marshall Pass – Phantom Train (Released 12/4/12)


I first heard of the Marshall Pass when I noticed they started following me on Twitter. I don’t know how they found me, but I’m glad they did. The folk duo out of Worcester, made up of vocalist/harmonica player Craig Rawding and multi-instrumentalist Duncan Arsenault, create a warm, rich sound on their debut album Phantom Train.

Dedicated to a recently deceased friend, Phantom Train is a journey reflecting on despair, hope, and healing. Strongly reminiscent of Depression-era American blues and folk, the songs are short but substantial stories with strong themes. The Marshall Pass throws their own spin onto the well-traveled style with layers of effects and reverb, bringing out the darker and more dreamlike qualities of such tracks as “Boothill Bound” and “California Blue.”

Needless to say, I followed these guys right back. I’ve had Phantom Train playing on repeat over the past couple weeks and every time I listen to it, I find something new. The members of The Marshall Pass are amazingly talented and I can’t wait to see what they do from here.

Standout Tracks:

Abilene” – The first track of the album. Melancholy, but with a continuous energy. An inviting introduction to Phantom Train.

California Blue” – The fourth track effectively combines past and present with the use of the traditional twelve-bar blues format and various studio effects. The end result feels almost outside of time, bringing to life the monotony of the plane trip described in the lyrics.

The Marshall Pass’s Website


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