"With Benji Rogers' stirring and soulful voice and driving guitar hooks, which the Black Crowes would be proud of, Marwood draw you into a world of lush harmonies and compelling rhythms. I defy you not to be singing along at the top of your voice by the second hearing!!" (Jeff Collins, The BBC)
“Marwood rocks, definitively.” (Jonathan Clarke, DJ, Q104.3 FM NYC – Clear Channel)
Marwood is the voice and songs of singer/songwriter Benji Rogers. Whether backed by his full band at venues like The Bowery Ballroom or in the more intimate and obscure acoustic settings that he has been known to frequent, it is at live shows that Rogers' voice, personality and music truly shines. Jay Lustig, pop music critic for the Star-Ledger of New Jersey writes: “Rogers does it all: his songwriting is evocative, his singing conveys warmth and dignity, and his guitar playing packs a punch.”
Marwood’s music blends the pop/catchy melodies reminiscent of Squeeze, with a guitar-driven edge similar to the Black Crowes. Whether it is the radio-friendly “Soulless,” the rocker “Can’t Say,” or the mournful flavor of “Fallin’,” Marwood’s music is full of passion and emotion. With catchy hooks and guitar-driven rock Marwood's sound captivates fans and critics alike, with New York Newsday deeming their sound "stunning alternative pop." The Boston Globe further hails the music, calling it "a guitar lovers' rock of the infectious rhythm kind." Marwood has also been featured in publications including The Washington Post, The Village Voice and amNew York.
With origins tracing back to London but currently based in New York City's Lower East Side, Marwood has shared the bill with the likes of Antigone Rising, Gavin DeGraw, and Rooney, and performed at hundreds of venues across the US and Europe. A diverse band which defies audience pigeonholing, Marwood is as equally thrilled to be invited to perform at the esteemed Hammerstein Ballroom for the iGames Expo 2005 as they are to play in front of eager hipster crowds at NYC's Bowery Ballroom, The Mercury Lounge or The Knitting Factory.
Marwood's latest self-titled CD (2005) is already making waves on the radio, with spins on over 30 commercial stations, including XM Satellite radio and NJ's G-Rock Radio, as well as college stations across the country. Their music has also been heard on NYC's Q104.3 (Clear Channel), where Marwood was selected as one of the top local bands. Blender.com recently featured the video for the album's single "Monday Over Friday" as the video of the day.
2006 is promising to be a big year for Marwood. With a new full length album underway and shows being lined up all over the country, watch out for this guy and make sure you buy him a drink!
Benji Rogers (Vocals, Guitar)
plus a rotating line-up of musicians including:
Nic D'Amato (Bass)
Mike Talbot (Drums)
Matt Beck (Guitar)
One Mile Down the Road - 2006
Self-Titled EP - 2005
Radio Personalities - 2003
Regular Fips - 2002
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By Marianne Meyer Thursday, June 23, 2005 Benji Rogers, lead singer and songwriter for the New...By Marianne Meyer
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Benji Rogers, lead singer and songwriter for the New York City-based band Marwood, says he doesn't mind commuting from Manhattan to the Washington area a few times a week to do shows.
"I think it's important, as a musician, to be versatile," Rogers said, explaining that he'll gladly brave a long commute for a chance to play for a receptive crowd. Although Marwood is a quartet -- the other three members are guitarist Rob Overbey, bassist Brett Conti and drummer Mike Talbot-- Rogers has performed solo at many D.C. area open mike nights, and he and Overbey have traveled to Europe to play as a duo.
"We're a song-oriented band," Rogers said. "So as long as we can get the songs across, we're okay.”
Still, Marwood rocks best when all four players get to-gether, as they will Wednesday at Rock Bottom to rouse the crowd with straight-forward, intelligent songs that one critic described in a bit of an oxymoron as “alternative mainstream rock.”
The difficulty of describing Marwood's style is a long-running one for the band. "Whenever people ask me 'What do you sound like?' I just say we sound like a rock-and-roll band," Rogers said.
"But rock-and-roll has really changed in its sound," he said. "I look on myspace [a popular Web site for young bands] and see all these descriptions like 'post-punk emo,' and I have no clue what that means.”
Marwood has earned comparisons to R.E.M., Counting Crows, Black Crowes and Squeeze, but Rogers cites influences including Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, LL Cool J, Neil Young, '80s "hair metal" bands and the soulful southern rock of Little Feat. "My dad used to sit me up on the stereo when I was a kid and play 'Dixie Chicken.' ”
The British-born Rogers worked as a roadie and absorbed the inner workings of acts such as Def Leppard, Phil Collins and Genesis before heading to the United States to begin his career.
Evolving from a solo act to the Ben Rogers Band (featuring Overbey) and then to its current lineup, Marwood has released three self-distributed CDs -- "Regular Flips" (2002), "Radio Personalities" (2003) and an eponymous EP this year.
A single, "Soulless," has been getting airplay on one of New York City's Clear Channel outlets, XM satellite radio and a number of college stations, and the band has toured extensively on the East Coast. You can hear samples and learn more about the band at its Web site, http://www.marwoodband.com .
"The Internet is kind of a double-edged sword," Rogers said of the high-tech world. "In the old days, if you couldn't get to radio, you could get to people playing live, and they would have to buy a CD to hear you . . . they'd have to make an effort; whereas now they can go to LimeWire or file sharing. There's less of an emotional connection with the actual band itself.
"Having said that, there's never been an easier way to reach people around the world," he said. "It's a chicken and egg thing -- great, someone in South Africa bought my record. Now how do I get there?”
Spoken like a true road warrior.
Rock Me Baby
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By Amy Graves January 21, 2005 New York rockers come and go, and Marwood, a mere toddler in a ...By Amy Graves
January 21, 2005
New York rockers come and go, and Marwood, a mere toddler in a musical world of aging juggernauts, might have its 15 minutes and then fade. But we'll put good money down that with a guitar-lovers' rock of the infectious rhythm kind, the four gents involved will at least enjoy the ride. So will you tonight at the Paradise Lounge when this mournful, mellifluous band takes the stage. Lead vocalist Benji Rogers, a London native and East Village transplant, sounds like Michael Hutchence and looks like Bryan Ferry, but Marwood definitely isn't INXS or RoxyMusic. It's more like Counting Crows, especially on "Souless" and "Bartenders," songs we could easily learn and sing to within a few refrains. That's because Marwood knows and worships the holy trinity of rock 'n' roll -- you know, the three-chord progression that you can't escape no matter what end of the FM spectrum you tune into.
CD Review / Marwood Self Titled EP / 4 stars
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Marwood Self-Titled 4 stars If very clean, very neat bluesey, southerny rock is your deal, then...Marwood
If very clean, very neat bluesey, southerny rock is your deal, then hold on to your minivan, have I ever got a band for you. Marwood's debut is a vastly impressive one. A beautifully engineered record that could easily pass as the newest Cowboy Mouth disc, Marwood's songs are exhaustingly likable and
beautifully and tidily performed. Pretty melodies and kind lyrics top off this promising presentation to what is obviously a band not to be trifled with. Nothing outside the lines on the album, but no bullshit either.
"Stunning alternative pop"
Perry Persoff, DJ, 92.5 FM, The River, Boston
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“Great rock guitars with a sense of humor slipping in and a little fun funk, just when you were sure...“Great rock guitars with a sense of humor slipping in and a little fun funk, just when you were sure that could never be part of their sound. But the recordings are just a hint: following in the philosophy of The Who and others, Marwood really shows itself LIVE. Go see ‘em on stage!”
Adam Simkin, Entertainment DC and Z104.1
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“Raw and passionate, Marwood is clearly a band on the rise – their unique brand of guitar-oriented p...“Raw and passionate, Marwood is clearly a band on the rise – their unique brand of guitar-oriented pop has proven their appeal goes way beyond the local scene and we are confident they will become a national name someday.”
Rock and Roll, New York City Style
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By Sasha Yahkind Thursday, January 27, 2005 Marwood can say they successfully started on their...By Sasha Yahkind
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Marwood can say they successfully started on their New Year's resolution after they rocked out the Paradise Lounge Friday night. Their goal was to play more shows outside of their home base in New York City, and Boston was lucky to be one of the first to experience their fun and captivating sound in 2005. Just last year, the band played over 60 shows in front of huge crowds at popular clubs such as the Knitting Factory and the Mercury Lounge in the Big Apple.
The evening of Jan. 21, following a show by the Trachtenburg Family, saw Marwood live up to expectations as they filled the small venue with smiles, cheers and most importantly, good music.
They filled every song with energy and enthusiasm, mirrored by the audience.
“Everyone must have thought that I was so drunk," commented a sober fan after dancing the night away with her friends in front of the band's interactive performance.
Their most popular and catchy tune, "Souless," had even new fans singing along, while the more mellow songs such as "Bartender" translated relevant lyrics into harmonized rock and roll.
The intimate connection between the boys brings their individual musical talents together into one tenacious sound. London native Benji Rogers' melodic words and guitar-playing set the tone for guitarist Rob Overbey's cranking riffs. Brett Conti contributes his natural enthusiasm on the bass and Mike Talbot's versatility as a drummer is evident in the band's diverse rhythm. You wouldn't think that Talbot's personal preference is jazz as you watch him jam away with the rest of the band's rock beat.
So what do you get when you put them together? A strong voice leading the band through a connection to the music that can only compare to that of the Counting Crows and the entire canon of late-80s big hair rock. All of them attest to having hair longer than most girls at the show at one point in their lives.
With a four-hour drive back to New York ahead of them, the boys still took the time to share their goals, inspirations and funny stories from the road. There was consensus that the best thing about driving long distances is Burger King, and the worst thing by far is Roy Rogers.
Touring is nothing new for [Ben] Rogers, who accompanied his guitarist father on the road at a young age. His and the rest of the band's past musical accomplishments are all stories they would love to tell you over dinner if you happen to find yourself in N.Y.C., but what is most important is their unity as a band.
"Performing is when we are at our best," he said.
And in reference to the name of the band, they suggest that you watch an old British flick called Withnail and I to find out. Keep your eyes and ears open for more from these four genuinely fun guys.
The Album Network
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"British native Ben Rogers has combined his amazing musical talents with a band to die for! This Co..."British native Ben Rogers has combined his amazing musical talents with a band to die for! This Counting Crows-meets-early Pearl Jam rock could just be the next big thing!"
Marwood Carves Out A Niche
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By Crista Scatturo Thursday, April 8, 2004 Tucked away behind the bar at 9th Street Espresso o...By Crista Scatturo
Thursday, April 8, 2004
Tucked away behind the bar at 9th Street Espresso on Manhattan's lower East Side, you will find Rob Overbey: dispenser of coffee, admitted Britney and Christina fan and the lead guitarist for underground New York-based band Marwood. While you are most assuredly familiar with coffee, Britney and Christina, Marwood may be unfamiliar territory. Marwood is a good old rock 'n' roll band, drawing on influenc-es as diverse as Kiss, Marvin Gaye, Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John and Little Feat. However, the diversity of influences should come as no surprise as it reflects the diversity in background and experience of Marwood's members.
Lead singer-songwriter Benji Rogers hails from London and has traveled the United States from coast to coast, with significant stays in Los Angeles and upstate New York, before settling in the East Village of New York City. Overbey is originally from Tennessee, though he moved around for most of his childhood and also spent time in upstate New York where he and Rogers met. The newest member, bassist Brett Conti, is also from Nashville, Tenn., where he and Overbey first met. A chance meeting brought them back together in Manhattan last year and Overbey has been with the band ever since. Drummer John O'Reilly rounds out the Marwood line up.
Marwood's sound has been described as "Counting Crows in their prime," with the "guitar-driven edge of the Black Crows" and a sound reminiscent of Squeeze. But Overbey disagrees.
"I don't really hear specific bands in our sound," Overbey said. "I just think we sound like ourselves." Rogers has high aspirations for his songwriting, especially in terms of what effect he would like it to have on his listeners.
"I would love to write a song that made me feel the way I did the first time I heard 'In Your Eyes' by Peter Gabriel," Rogers said. "[That's] a song that is bigger than the sum of its parts. I want people to connect with the music.“
As Conti sees it, "entertaining people for a living is its own reward.“
Overbey, Rogers and he all agree that the goals for Marwood are focused on getting as many people to hear their music as possible and hopefully bring enjoyment to those people with their music, without any plans for world domination.
"I just want to be able to make a living off of music, go on tour for a few hundred days a year, be in the studio making music and make all the hardships and craziness worthwhile," Rogers said.
Up and coming New York City band, Marwood, visits The Blue Star in Lancaster
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By Sean O'Mara September 29, 2003 The Blue Star at 602 W. King Street played host to Marwood, ...By Sean O'Mara
September 29, 2003
The Blue Star at 602 W. King Street played host to Marwood, an up and coming New York City local band, this past Saturday. Opening for local group Capital Air, Marwood caught the attention of the audience with their sound that has been described as a blend of catchy melodies with a guitar-driven edge reminiscent of the Black Crowes. Despite their recent breakthrough success with the single “Souless” that has received high honors on New York City, Albany, Staten Island, and Delaware radio, the musicians have been developing their craft for years.
Singer Benji Rogers has been recording, writing and performing since the age of 16. His experience on the road began as a teenager while working as a “roadie” for Def Leppard, Phil Collins, and Genesis.
About ten years ago, he met lead guitarist Rob Overbey when Overbey answered his ad for a bass player. The two formed a band named Jones and eventually Overbey traveled across country to help Rogers record his solo album Another Day Gone.
The third core member, Brett Conti, was a friend of Overbey from the Nashville music scene who met up with him in a bar in New York City. It turned out the two lived only blocks apart. Soon the three began to collaborate for what would become Marwood.
In 2002, the band released a studio album called Regular Fips featuring the drunken romanticism of “Get Lucky” with such lyrics as “She says I’m tired of drinking/I can’t hardly taste it/I’m bored of these candles/I can hardly see/It’s not that you’re boring/So take your clothes off/I’m not gonna sit here/just to watch you sleep.”
Soon after the release of Regular Fips, the band published an EP of live and acoustic tracks called Radio Personalities including the live track for “Souless,” the song responsible for pushing Marwood into the limelight.
Now the band is out on the road promoting their past albums and honing songs for their forthcoming full length album. It is this touring effort that brought them to the Lancaster bar scene.
On the band’s official website, www.marwoodband.com, lead guitarist Overbey said, “Marwood is simply who we are. This is what we love to do and we don’t really have a choice; we’re not good at anything else. We just want to be ourselves and we hope that some people will like this as much as we do.”
This modest love for their art was displayed clearly in front of the crowd at The Blue Star.
After some kind conversations with the sound technicians who had some problems setting the monitors correctly, the band thanked everyone for waiting through the extra minutes of technical difficulties.
They then played a nine song set consisting of four unreleased songs that teased of the album to come. After nearly every song the band thanked the audience for coming out, especially the small group of dedicated fans who followed the band all the way down from NYC.
The combination of two or three part harmonies with catchy lyrics and powerful riffs caused tremors of conversation between onlookers who wanted to know more about the band.
A consistent reminder from Rogers between choruses and “thank yous,” that their albums were on sale in the back had people seeking out the girls in charge of merchandise. While selling merchandise, the girls were dancing around the floor and beaming about the band during the entire show.
Finishing strong with a memorably powerful rendition of “Souless,” Marwood thanked everyone one last time with sincerity and a smile that put finishing touches on driving the show home. Lyrics, “don’t it leave you feeling/ a little bit souless a little bit hopeless” echoed in everyone’s minds as they grabbed themselves another round of drinks and possibly a CD or two.
Marwood is a down-to-earth band that gives everything it’s got to every show no matter how large or small the crowd. Anyone who hears their music will be humming it well after listening to it but will never find themselves annoyed that the songs are stuck in their heads. The new album sounds very promising, but until then, Regular Fips and Radio Personalities will have to satisfy the itch between catching their live shows. Keep an ear out for Marwood.
Set list is constructed around the vibe of the audience and if solo or with accompaniment. Length is based on the needs of the venue.
SAMPLE SET LIST:
1. Name To Me No More
2. Monday Over Friday
3. Get Lucky
4. Nothing Good To Show For It But You
5. New One Fast
6. So Calm
7. Picture A Day
10. One Mile Down The Road
There are no upcoming dates at this time.