The name comes from the Bible. It refers to undrinkable bitter waters, sweetened by Moses. And this great rock band out of Brooklyn, NY, by way of Conshohocken, PA, has made a living by making something beautiful out of the hard realities of life.
If you know the music of Marah, you are fortunate. If you have experienced one of their legendary live shows you are lucky. And if you are already a hard core fan, then I probably know you!
I first discovered Marah in New York City back in 2001. Someone I know had recommended that I go along, and so I did, knowing nothing of their music. Two hours later I was a fan.
And since then I’ve seen Marah live over 60 times in several different countries. I have every record they ever made plus recordings of more than 100 shows. I’ve shared some amazing road trips across the US with other fans and count band members, past and present, as friends.
Very simply, if you don’t know Marah you are missing out.
The video above was recorded in a place that rock fans will surely know of: the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. And I was in the audience that night. There are three very different songs on here. Check it out!
Marah describers their music as folk/ punk. But the unique fusion of classic rock music with elements of punk, roots and Americana, and even the odd banjo thrown in, really defies categorisation.
They have produced 8 studio albums to date and they are all worth checking out. But it is the band’s energetic and powerful live performances that have thrilled fans worldwide. And these fans include Bruce Springsteen, who has played with them, Nick Hornby and Stephen King, who described Marah as “the American U2.”
The band had had something of a rollercoaster ride over the last 15 years or so. They have come close to making the breakthrough and thought about quitting. The line up has changed so many times that the list of former members is extensive. But through it all they have continued to make great music.
A new album will be released in June and a US tour is already planned to promote it. And a visit to the UK won’t be far behind. Believe me, I will be spreading the word for that one when it is announced.
To close this piece, I give you one more video. This was recorded at King Tut’s in Glasgow two years ago and shows Marah at their rocking best.