Marshall Ruffin: Soulful Blues Meets Stimulating Grunge
*** Morning Glory nominated for Independent Music Awards Blues Album of the Year ***
"Ruffin plays guitar and sings with a prowess that most roots & blues artists develop only after many weary years on the road."
Lisa Love, Georgia Music Hall of Fame
"The dude can really sing and play - to say I was amazed by his songwriting talent, instrumental abilities and vocals would be an understatement."
Jeff Hahne, Music Editor, Creative Loafing Charlotte
"Interesting thing... Marshall is so young to have the voice of such an old soul - he gets it. He's transparent when he sings, you can see right into his heart."
Rebecca Harris, Special Events Coordinator, Phenix City Amphitheatre
"I rarely get inspired to say such things, but really - if you're able to see Marshall Ruffin 'live' then you really must. He is just f***ing amazing!"
Geoff Achison, Blues Guitarist Extraordinaire
The twenty-five year old roots-rock and blues singer-songwriter-guitarist grew up in typical Americana, where science was at the fabric of his family. After finding a guitar in his attic at age thirteen, Marshall taught himself to play. Just several short years later, he majored in jazz performance at the Berklee College of Music. It was while in Boston, Ruffin recognized and tapped into his songwriting skills and vocal gifts. Within a year after graduation, Marshall moved to Columbus GA for some Ma Rainey education, opened for dozens of regional and national artists, and signed with Jammates Records. After experiencing a Marshall Ruffin performance, one only expects his momentum to accelerate. Rich Man's Dime, his freshman EP, was released in February '08 and spent eight weeks on the roots/blues chart ending the year at no. 4 on Georgia Roots Radio. Morning Glory, his 2009 sophomore effort, hit the streets Sept. 15th and is nominated for the Independent Music Awards 'Blues Album of the Year'. Marshall Ruffin will be playing solo and with his trio throughout east coast music venues in support of the new release.
OPENINGS: Arc Angels, Robin Trower, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Marshall Tucker Band, Col. Bruce Hampton, Oliver Wood, Shawn Mullins, and Devon Allman
Marshall Ruffin - (vocal / guitar)
Dennis Baraw (upright bass)
Alan Marcha (drums)
Morning Glory - EP - Jammates Records 2009
Rich Man's Dime - EP - Jammates Records 2007
Morning Glory Review Excerpt - Hal Horowitz
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“The voice may be the same mix of honey and grits, but everything else has changed. Marshall Ruffin,...“The voice may be the same mix of honey and grits, but everything else has changed. Marshall Ruffin, version 2.0, has hurled forward and bitten into punky blues/rock with a vengeance on this 40-minute hydrogen bomb. Push 'play' and hang on tight!” Hal Horowitz
Morning Glory Record Review 4 Stars
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One might pick up Marshall Ruffin’s second release Morning Glory and assume it is an EP. You would b...One might pick up Marshall Ruffin’s second release Morning Glory and assume it is an EP. You would be surely mistaken after 40 solid minutes of quality fuzzy, dirty, bluesy rock heard over these five tracks.
While Ruffin’s name is on the front of the album, this is not another solo blues album. This twenty-five year old plays the guitar, sings the vocals, and does the songwriting, but he is joined by Dennis Baraw on bass, Alan Marcha on drums, and Steve Dancz on keys for this album.
Morning Glory reminds me of The Black Keys a lot, which is a good thing since I enjoy them immensely. Some of the other artists that Marshall Ruffin has been compared to include Traffic, Cream, Stevie Ray Vaughn, as well as The Black Crowes.
Vocally Ruffin has a strong voice. At times he sounds like Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys), other times like Stevie Ray Vaughn, and when his voice soars, he reminds me of Ben Harper. Instrumentally everything here is quite good, but with three tracks coming in above eight minutes, they get a little repetitive at times. I certainly expect extensive solos when the songs are performed live, but maybe a bit tighter on the studio release. Personally, I’d like to hear more from the keys on some of the tracks and for the guitars to stand out more on the solos.
Morning Glory is a solid release from Marshall Ruffin. Check out opening track “The Day” for a good idea of what to expect from the other four songs. There isn’t much I don’t like about it, but I feel what I like about it most are the aspects that remind me of other acts that I enjoy. This is by no means a bad thing, but I think that he is capable of putting more of a unique stamp on his songs. There is no doubt that there are bigger better things in store for Ruffin, and Morning Glory is a quality progression towards them.
Kevin Kozel-MuzikReviews.com Staff
December 23, 2009
For Questions Or Comments About This Review Send An Email To Kevin email@example.com
Marshall Ruffin — Morning Glory
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Welp. Marshall dun dun it again. And though it seems somewhat improbable considering the phenomena...Welp. Marshall dun dun it again. And though it seems somewhat improbable considering the phenomenal quality of his first release, ‘Rich Man’s Dime’, he dun dun it even better! Ruffin’s sophomore effort, ‘Morning Glory’, is even juicier, even bluesier, even grittier than last time. Listening to this second go-round, one might think that the old soul on the front porch of that Mississippi delta shack found his inner Jimi Hendrix and ran with it.
This current collection of songs marks a stylistic departure from the more stripped-down roots-Americana blues vibe of ‘Dime’. ‘Morning Glory’ flat-out rocks. Additional elements to this collection – buzz effects on the guitar, a Hammond organ – make the sound fleshier, groovier, dirtier. This sound is meaty – cooked rare.
I’m far less focused on Ruffin’s story-telling style of lyricism this go round, and far more honed in on the overall feel of the music as a whole. The production on this 5-song EP has an echo effect that makes it seem like he’s playing live to an empty bar. You can almost see the juke box in the corner and the pool tables sitting, waiting to be cued up.
The first track, ‘The Day’ sounds like a seamless meshing of back-bone-slipping Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar styling with wailing Ray Charles vocals. ‘Better Than Waiting’, a 13-plus minute jam session, is the track that most reminds me of the Great Jimi. In spots it gets near hypnotic and psychedelic.
‘Be My Man’ is possibly my favorite of the five songs on the disc. Lyrics like ‘late at night, whisper in my ear all the things that I want to hear’ are howled out over hypnotic, crashing drums and long-winded chords slid down the neck of a steel guitar. This is the kind of song I want to hear when I’m up too late, had too many beers, smoked too many cigarettes, and I’m feeling strung-out and bad-assed.
‘Morning Glory’ has proven to me that Marshall is only getting better. This record has confirmed my first impressions of him when I saw him over a year ago at the Loft. This boy has that indefinable thing that’s going to take him places. And I’m going to be there, saying ‘I knew him when…’
Featured Artist - Marshall Ruffin
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I saw Marshall Ruffin perform during the CD Release Party for this album, “Morning Glory.” Reviving ...I saw Marshall Ruffin perform during the CD Release Party for this album, “Morning Glory.” Reviving an old blues sound and combining it with guitars and an electric grunge sound, Ruffin has created something unique that can only be described as American tradition and having spontaneous flavor.
Marshall’s lyrics have emotion and power. He is not afraid to use every range of his voice to accompany his guitar, the drums, and the upright bass that play with him. “The Day” provides a slow, strong beat that you can feel in your bones. You can tell that this album is all about the music for Marshall Ruffin.
The soulful, old rock feel that the guitar and drums match Marshall’s voice, which he sometimes puts aside to lend full appreciation to the music itself. The solos by themselves are enough to make the cd worth listening.
Tracks: The Day, Morning Glory, Be My Man, Better Than Waiting, Hatchet
Artist's Website: http://www.marshalruffin.com
Reviewed by: Megan Morian
Ain't Gonna Work
Be My Man
Better Than Waiting
Call My Name
Cold Wind Blow
Fly, Fly, Fly
Never Can Tell
Song About A Bird
Songs I've Never Heard
When I Die
Before You Accuse Me ï¿½ Elias McDaniel
Burn - Ray LaMontagne
Burning And Looting - Bob Marley
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You - Frank Valli
Crazy - Willie Nelson
Crying Holy Unto The Lord - Traditional
Dire Wolf - The Grateful Dead
Down In The Hole - Tom Waits
Gone Away From Me - Ray LaMontagne
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas ï¿½ (Christmas)
I Bid You Goodnight - Traditional
I'll Fly Away - Traditional
I'll Be Satisfied - Traditional
Jamaican Farewell - Traditional
Jesus Gonna Be Here - Tom Waits
Johnny Be Good - Chuck Berry
Killing Me Softly - Roberta Flack
Let It Snow ï¿½ (Christmas)
Love Potion #9 - The Drifters
Make It Rain - Tom Waits
Melissa ï¿½ Allman Brothers
O Come O Come Emanuel ï¿½ (Christmas)
Oh Holy Night ï¿½ (Christmas)
Oh Mary Don't You Weep - Traditional
People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield
Sad Songs And Waltzes - Cake
Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford
Soulshine - Waren Haynes
Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday
Summertime - George Gershwin
Stormy Monday ï¿½ T-Bone Walker
Take Your Leaving Slow - Sanders Bohlke
There Ain't No Grave - Traditional
Wade In The Water ï¿½ Traditional
Waiting In Vain ï¿½ Bob Marley
There are no upcoming dates at this time.