Craig Marshall
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Craig Marshall

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2002
Solo Americana Country




"Craig Marshall Dishes Out "Something On Your Mind" — Exclusive Song Premiere"

I ran into Craig Marshall a few years back on a visit to Austin, and I never forgot about it.

How fitting that today we’re premiering his song “Something On Your Mind” from his upcoming release After All, due out August 7 on Big Ticket Records.

This upbeat song is chock full of question marks. Marshall deftly weaves a bit of rockabilly with a twang and a rock beat as he tries to guess his subject’s intentions. This winning combination showcases his solid songwriting and guitar skills.

For the track, Marshall double-tracked vintage 1965 Gibson J50, which he's had for 15 years. The guitar was his go to writing partner for all of the songs for After All.

Marshall shares, ”The phrase 'Something On Your Mind' fit the melody I had already written for the song. Then I was like 'OK, what does that mean?' I discovered it was about the about the signs one gives, like a certain smile hiding the truth, that are not stated in words, but in those other ways that only that one person can see."

The record is Marshall’s second outing with producer (and longtime Marshall admirer),Robert Harrison, leader of the critically acclaimed band, Cotton Mather.

“I’m hearing Buck Owens or Merle Haggard in my head when I’m writing a song like ‘After All’ or ‘The Only Sound,’” Marshall says, but in fact, two of After All’s centerpieces, “Something On Your Mind” (the album’s first single) and “Only Till The End of Time” navigate firmly in the Petty-Beatles lane.

Marshall’s love of The Beach Boys and The Bee Gees can also be heard, and over the years, critics have cited artists as diverse as Badfinger, Marshall Crenshaw and XTC when describing Marshall. The songs on After All do show these influences, but ultimately a Marshall fan will hear a Marshall song, and the uninitiated will be treated to a warm, familiar sound that plays unique and fresh.

“I’ve returned to the song-driven music that I was playing when I first moved to Austin,” he explains. “Writing timeless songs has always been the goal, but starting with the last album, and even more on After All, I seem to be able to connect with listeners in a much more visceral way, and I’m finding people reacting and commenting on my lyrics in new way, too.”

New ways of connecting can be hard fought for a career musician. Marshall’s lengthy musical resume stretches back to his teen years performing with various combos in his hometown of Syracuse, New York. After moving to Austin in the early 1990’s with his then-band, The Delta Rays, he soon found himself establishing and leading the locally popular Sinatra-style jazz-swing outfit, The Lucky Strikes, which kept him busy, but eventually provoked the urge to get back to the personal songs that are his trademark.

The resulting work cemented Marshall’s growing reputation as a writer, leading to his songs getting picked up for a variety of film and television soundtracks, being covered by revered Austin-based songwriters Trish Murphy and Penny Jo Pullus, and American folk-rock act, The Kennedys, and being honored twice by the Austin Songwriters Group for tunes that now appear on After All (“Bitter Times Disappear,” “Back For More.”)

Most recently, Marshall’s notoriety among those who know has helped him start an exciting new working relationship with fellow songwriter Kostas Lazarides, who has written hits for Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, and many more.

Find out more at - by Laura B. Whitmore / Guitar World

"Track Premiere: Austin’s Craig Marshall"

Austin-based musician Craig Marshall has to be one of the more prolific songwriters we’ve encountered, what with a songbook that goes back thirty-plus years. Now he’s set to drop sixth album “After All,” arriving via Big Ticket Records on August 7th. We’re pretty psyched to unveil the track “Standing Still” from the record, exclusively for BLURT readers. Check it out:

“After All”’s second single is the most bluegrass track on the record, with contributing players including Patterson Barrett on mandolin and dobro, Eddie Dickerson on fiddle, and Betty Soo on harmony vocals.

The LP marks Marshall’s second outing with producer Robert Harrison, of Cotton Mather/Future Clouds And Radar fame. “Craig Marshall has always kept his artistic sights trained on the loftiest of goals,” comments Harrison, a longtime fan. “That is to craft songs that are immediate, timeless, and classic.” And from country-folk Americana to more pop-inflected material (reflective of Marshall’s abiding love of the Beach Boys and Bee Gees), he’s become an influential player on the Austin scene, a much-loved well-kept secret whose skills transcend genre.

Marshall will play a record release show in Austin on August 16th at Strange Brew. - By Blurt Staff / Blurt Magazine

"Artist Profile: Craig Marshall"

Artist Profile: Craig Marshall
Posted by Kate Howard | On 5 August,2015 | In Indie, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Volume 1 - Issue 3

I was introduced to Craig Marshall’s work by some of my favorite songwriters Tony Scalzo (Fastball, Wrenfro), Kevin McKinney (Soul Hat, Wrenfro), and Chris Dye (DYE4, Cats from Japan). Marshall quickly became one of my favorites as well. Some of his songs are profoundly moving, some are optimistic and uplifting, and some have all three of these qualities. Craig’s signature style has wide appeal. He also demonstrates a breadth of range that is rare among contemporary songwriters, excelling in penning pop songs, country tunes, and jazz numbers.

Craig Marshall might be best known as the frontman for the jazz/swing band, The Lucky Strikes. This profile doesn’t delve deeply into that aspect of Marshall’s career. Instead, it explores Marshall’s musical beginnings, influences, his approach to songwriting, and his more recent solo work. Marshall’s latest album, “After All”, the follow-up to his 2013 masterpiece, “Hiding in the Doorway”, will be released in August 2015.

I spoke with Craig during set breaks at a lakeside café gig one summer Sunday evening.

Howard: “What instruments do you play?”

Marshall: “I studied piano growing up and then guitar – both, really. Went back and forth. In high school and college, I played guitar. I played bass guitar in a band in college. Then, I had a band with my brothers in New York. We always played music together growing up and ended up in the band together.”

It might surprise some to learn the role that Johann Sebastian Bach plays in Craig’s songwriting. “Growing up, my parents played classical music records. A lot of Baroque music. A lot of chamber music. I was exposed to all that early on. I played a lot of Bach on piano and listened to his music on records. Harmonically, the chord movement in pop music takes a lot from that classical style. It’s just catchy. It’s really just kinda pop tunes. They have a lot of similarities.”

I interjected that this concept might not occur to most people who aren’t musicians. Marshall concurred, adding: “That might have been an early influence because I tend to write melody first — with a lot of chord harmonies and voice leading – and a lot of that came from that era – Baroque music.”

Marshall started writing songs when he was in high school and continued during his college years. He began working on his songwriting in earnest in his 20s. “I always wrote with a band in mind. I didn’t really write solo-minded stuff until much later.” Craig and his two brothers had a rock band for several years. They played punk, power pop, and indie rock. The music Craig wrote for the band “was very (Elvis) Costello, Cheap Trick, and all the great sort of pop, new wave bands that came out of the 80s. XTC, Crowded House, Squeeze, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, Rockpile. We started to move into more indie rock in the late 80s. U2, REM and the Replacements were big influences. After about five years of trying to make it as an indie band out of Syracuse, we got tired of that.”

The Only Sound chord chartAround that time, Craig and one of his brothers started another band. “We got into classic country: Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, and Gram Parsons”. Marshall related that “Everything that I’ve played in a band, every style, it all started with the writing. So, I started writing country tunes for this side project.”

That project was the alt country band, the Delta Rays. Marshall said that it was the most fun and profitable project that he and his brothers pursued – even more popular than the rock bands. He attributes the act’s popularity to its uniqueness, song choices, and timing. According to him, the only other bands in the area playing country music were older gentlemen doing “awful covers” in a lounge format. What the Delta Rays offered was a sharp contrast: a group of young guys covering the Everly Brothers, Buck Owens, Buddy Holly, and Gram Parsons as well as playing original tunes in those styles. Marshall said, “It was the era of Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam. It was this cool, alt country scene in New York. No other bands up there were playing that style of music.”

Then, in the early ‘90s, the Delta Rays migrated to the Southwest. Austin got its own version of the band, which featured Craig Marshall and singer Maura Kennedy. They had some success here, but not on the level they’d enjoyed in New York. At that time, alt country bands were a dime a dozen in this town.

The Delta Rays disbanded after Maura moved away from Austin (she went on to form The Kennedys). Marshall began performing country music as a solo artist. Then, he formed the jazz band, The Lucky Strikes. That band had a great run and still plays in smaller configurations with some frequency.

In the early 2000s, Marshall returned to his solo career. Several acclaimed pop albums followed, as did attention from Hollywood, with some of his songs landing on movie soundtracks and on TV shows. Craig’s 2013 release, “Hiding in the Doorway”, is a remarkable collection of finely crafted pop, country, and Americana songs. Marshall’s work shines on this album, with stellar production and brilliant collaborations with many of Austin’s most talented players and singers.

Marshall’s upcoming release, “After All”, is graced by singers who excel in the art of harmonizing: Betty Soo, Noëlle Hampton (Belle Sounds), and Shane Cooley. I asked Marshall why he thinks such artists are drawn to his work. “I try to write interesting melodies but also a lot of interesting vocal phrasing so that it’s fun to harmonize to. When you can match that type of phrasing, it brings a new element to the tune.”

I was curious about whether Marshall assigns harmony parts to such gifted collaborators or if they bring them to him. Working with this caliber of singers in the studio, Marshall doesn’t feel the need to call the shots. “They’re usually that good to come up with their own,” he said. “There’s a couple of moments when we might try a couple of different things, like ‘do it higher’, or ‘do it lower’, or ‘can you match the phrasing tighter?’ or not, or ‘try a different line and see how it fits.’ But they’re all so good that they were pretty close with their natural first attempts. But there were options, like Betty Soo, she would bring in four or five different options of a line, and they all sounded great, and we had to pick and choose.” In some cases, Betty would sing the same harmony for verse one and verse two but use a different option for the next verse. “That creates more interest as the song goes on. There was a lot of that,” said Marshall.

“I believe before you felt this way,
One sound could always make you laugh and cry,
Maybe the tone or what I said.
Listen one more time, now that it’s the end.
It’s the only sound you won’t hear again.”

– Excerpt from “The Only Sound” from the album “After All” © Craig Marshall 2015.

Singers Betty Soo and Noelle Hampton are well established in the Austin music community. Shane Cooley is starting to make a name for himself here but is not yet as well-known as they. I was eager to learn how Craig became familiar with Cooley. As it turns out, Craig first heard Shane perform at the Baker Street open mic; he liked Cooley’s songs as well as his vocals. Shane’s voice reminded him of Gary Louris of The Jayhawks. Marshall is a big fan of that group and Louris’s high harmonies and vocal texture. He thought that the texture of Shane’s vocals might blend well with his own. He hoped that their harmonies would resemble those of The Jayhawks. In the end, Craig was pleased with the sound they achieved.

There are threads of optimism and reassurance in quite a few songs on Marshall’s “Hiding in the Doorway”. “I continue that in some of the new stuff”, he adds. I inquired about whether the upbeat and hopeful messages in some of his work come from his own mindset. I asked if that’s part of what he wants to convey through his body of work. At first, he says, “No, it’s more how I can shape the lyric around the hookline. I’m still coming from that ‘melody first’ pop song(writing) craft where you come up with a melody and a hookline or a title. Often, the title is a play on words or a common phrase, and I explore ‘What could that mean?’ It can be sad and dark, but I like to counter that with a more hopeful message sometimes. The singer/songwriter who feels sorry for himself – there’s enough of that. I like a more universal message, which can just as easily be hopeful. I don’t set out to do that, but maybe that’s just my mindset in life in general; so I gravitate to those themes.”

“Everything you fear can only bring you down.
Maybe your next tear will turn your luck around.
But you wake up and wonder,
When will you understand
Why things won’t go your way?
It’ll be someday.”

– Excerpt from “It’ll Be Someday” © Craig Marshall 2015.

In the decades since settling in Austin, Marshall’s masterful songwriting and performing have slowly and steadily attracted a following in Central Texas. It’s refreshing and not at all surprising to see that he’s garnering national praise for his upcoming release, “After All”. A few days after this interview took place, Guitar World magazine featured an article about him and the exclusive song premiere of “Something on Your Mind”, the album’s first single.

Craig Marshall’s music transcends categorization. Regardless of the genre he chooses, it is his authenticity and his sensitivity to the human condition that people respond to. These qualities come through in his studio work as well as his live performances.

Craig Marshall’s After All CD release event will take place at Strange Brew Lounge Side on August 16th. - by Kate Howard / Sound Profile Magazine

"MP3 At 3PM: Craig Marshall"

Singer/songwriter Craig Marshall is definitely from Austin. His jovial new track, “Something On Your Mind,” is a fun, banjo-garnished folk tune with all of the makings of the city’s most celebrated artists—clearly the work of a prolific musician with a confidence in what he does best. “Something On Your Mind” comes from Marshall’s sixth record, After All, out August 7 via Big Ticket Records. Download it below. - MAGNET Magazine

"Music Review: Craig Marshall, After All"

Music Review: Craig Marshall, After All
Published on August 7th, 2015 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews|

By Melissa Bratcher

Austin-based Craig Marshall strives to make music that is timeless and familiar. On his latest album, After All, he has achieved that in spades. With the help of his producer, Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather, Marshall dips in and out of genres easily, and handles each with great deftness.

Craig Marshall has a warm, endearing shaggy dog voice, the kind that grows on the listener. That likable voice, coupled with Marshall’s straightforward, honest lyrics, makes After All incredibly listenable and appealing.

Marshall is a versatile artist, as comfortable in the hushed lullaby of “It’ll Be Someday” as he is in the country-flavored numbers that pepper After All. The throwback sound of the title track is a delight, with its easy two-step rhythm and fine musicianship. Patterson Barrett’s dobro is a highlight, as is the piano sound, which is perfect for the genre. “The Only Sound” also has a honky tonk swing, plus smart harmonies to boot. The striving “Standing Still” is a twangy and upbeat ode to getting things done (and may be my new theme song).

After All isn’t all Americana, however. “Something On Your Mind” is a poppy, retro treasure with chiming Tom Petty-esque guitar, in addition to handclaps, harmonies, and a prodigious mandolin line. Paired with the vaguely psychedelic “Only Till The End Of Time,” the two songs are perfectly matched, the latter sounding like Joe Jackson fronting the Beatles. “I Can’t Begin To Know” feels like a college radio ballad, quiet and subdued as well as thoughtful. “In My Wild Dreams” begins in an appropriately hallucinatory manner, as a song about the restorative quality of dreaming should be, and has the most delightful drum sound, like muted cannons on a battlefield. Soft horns and a channel of dobro add texture and richness.

The songs on After All share a warmth and an enduring appeal. Craig Marshall has blended his influences and inspirations into an utterly enjoyable charmer of an album.

After All was released on August 7 via Big Ticket Records. - Popshifter (blog)

"Veteran musician Craig Marshall serves up delightful ‘After All’ LP"

‘After All’
Craig Marshall (Big Ticket)
3.5 stars out of 5 (Posted on August 12, 2015)

Though he has never become a household name, Texas-based singer/songwriter Craig Marshall has consistently delivered quality records for the better part of 15 years. Latest platter “After All,” his sixth studio effort, is an enjoyable collection of country-folk tunes that helps showcase Marshall’s gift for first-rate storytelling.

Craig Marshall CD“I’ve returned to the song-driven music that I was playing when I first moved to Austin,” Marshall explains. “Writing timeless songs has always been the goal, but starting with the last album, and even more on ‘After All,’ I seem to be able to connect with listeners in a much more visceral way, and I’m finding people reacting and commenting on my lyrics in a new way, too.”

There’s a Bakersfield country vibe to standout cuts like the title track and “The Only Sound,” and Marshall also delivers the goods on keepers “Something on Your Mind,” “It’ll Be Someday,” “I Can’t Begin to Know” and “Back for More.” “After All” is another rock-solid effort from a consummate professional. (Jeffrey Sisk) - Pittsburgh In Tune (blog)

"Popular Crimes (Big Ticket)"

Popular Crimes (Big Ticket)
Hip hello from Austin
Since he moved from Syracuse to Texas more than a decade ago, Craig Marshall has made a nice name for himself as the front man for the Austin band The Lucky Strikes
"Popular Crimes" is his first solo disc. The former member of Syracuse rockabilly-country-rock band The Delta Rays is going in much the same direction of his former band mate in that group, Maura Kennedy.
Marshall's 10 songs on "Popular Crimes" are bright, bouncy and extremely catchy.
Like the Kennedys, Marshall's bouncy sound can seem as if it had come off the turntables of years past, with solid craftsmanship lyrically and musically.
From the first cut, the racing "Desperately" and on down the road, it's obvious that Marshall's poppin' fresh.
"Popular Crimes" has 10 songs and runs 38:11.
Put it on when: You want a peek at where Marshall's music has traveled since his Syracuse rockabilly days. The view is lush - pop filled with catchy hooks and friendly persuasions.
On the Internet: Marshall's Web site is at .

Mark Bialczak / The Post-Standard-Syracuse, NY Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2002. - Mark Bialczak / The Post-Standard-Syracuse, NY

"Craig Marshall - Popular Crimes (CD, Big Ticket, Pop)"

Craig Marshall - Popular Crimes (CD, Big Ticket, Pop)

While there is always an overabundance of pop being created on this dear ol' planet...there are relatively few pop songwriters who can truly strike a chord in the hearts of their listeners. Craig Marshall is indeed one of those rare artists whose music is so genuinely effective and real...that one can't help but be helplessly pulled into his world. Former frontman for the Lucky Strikes, this is Marshall's first solo album. More than any other artist, Craig's tunes...and particularly his vocals...recall Badfinger's Pete Ham. Melodies are the most important element here, with vocals and instruments being used as supporting elements. The tunes on Popular Crimes are instantly effective and memorable...sneaking into your consciousness...and taking up permanent residence. With so many pop bands competing for attention...but offering very little can be a very tedious process wading through the massive stacks of pop CDs that fill our office suite. Popular Crimes is an instant standout...providing just what we like best...good and effective pop music that we just can't get out of our heads. Catchy keepers include "Desperately" (wow!), "Only Breaking Love" (another wow!) "I Like Saturday Night," and "Popular Crime." Recommended. (Rating: 5++)

LMNOP® / December 2003 - LMNOP®

"Craig Marshall: The King of Austin Pop!"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Craig Marshall: The King of Austin Pop!

I was so excited to learn that Craig Marshall had completed work on his self-produced CD, "Point of View" -- with Jon Notarthomas on lead guitar and vocals, John Thomasson on basses -- with drums and percussion by Jason McKenzie and Jeff Botta (alternating tracks), keyboard help from Derek Morris and Sam Lipman, some steel guitar from Charlie Richards, and harmony vocals on one track by Jo Beth Henderson. Craig, of course, is also the lead singer in the jazz swing cover band The Lucky Strikes (he is also a fine guitarist!) -- but since hearing his pop songs years ago at the now-defunct Woody's South, I have admired his pop songwriting.

This THIRD solo CD (after "Popular Crimes" and "Before the Fadeaway") includes some of my all-time favorites, led by "Lost in Space" and"Radio Girl," but all of the songs are singable, catchy tunes that bring back that feeling that anything is possible for those with a song in their hearts. "Why IS everything so difficult?" for people to recognize that this guy is writing songs as good as Lennon and McCartney? "I Know What It's Like" just marches along until the very end, when Craig slows it down (catch the harmonies!) before the final explosion that makes you want to mimic the Butabi brothers and their headshake.

"When the Camera's On You" slows it down (Ricky Stein should steal this song) so you can focus on the lyrics -- "hiding in the negative, quickly gets repetitive, something's gonna have to give, I know, you know .. the camera's on you ..." And, really, it always is. "When You Come Back Down" just has to be sung by the whole HOUSE FULL of people, "Will you remember me, when you come back down?" This is a true HIT SONG! If you liked, "That Thing You Do," you gotta have this record!

"Paper Cut" is a true ballad -- sounds like the 1950's and feels like dancing at the prom. Live, you cry out for a real piano solo -- why wasn't this song in any of those Sixteen Candles movies? [the whole genre?] You get to kiss the girl at the end of this one -- to heal the hurt -- "now that we've had some time, now that we seem to know, now you can let your mind get some rest." Just wonderful!

But next up is "Lost in Space," complete with sound effects -- and that great signature riff! "It's right between the reds and greens in life that you're floating through." Another song you just have to sing along with -- and light a candle! This is date music! Especially for the long-wed! Okay -- "Radio Girl" is just as special -- another jukebox necessity! This is another one that the whole crowd just stands up close to the stage and bounces up and down to the music -- and shouts out the lyrics back to the band.

Then there's the title cut -- great harmonies -- almost Beach Boys half an octave lower but with a little Beatles psychedelia mixed in -- and yet, some of the lyric structure hearkens back even earlier to 1950's style harmonies (can you say Four Freshmen?). But squeeze your sweetie stuff to be sure. Thankfully, "One Face in the Crowd" just flat out rocks -- vintage style. [How often do I start thinking "Revolver"?] Last (but there IS no least here) we get a "Small Reminder," one of those songs you just stop dancing to and just squeeze her tight. Reminds me of the Hollies (did I leave anybody out in my quest to get across the fact that this is great great pop music?)

Once more -- this is absolutely the perfect record to put on when you and the one you love are stuck at home on a rainy day. And be sure to thank Craig for the great memories .... BUY THIS!

Duggan Flanakin / Flanfire
- Duggan Flanakin / Flanfire

"CD of the Day, 5/6/08: Craig Marshall-Point of View"

Tuesday, May 06, 2008
CD of the Day, 5/6/08:
Craig Marshall-Point of View

It's always good to see new releases from dependable power pop artists, and proof of that fact comes courtesy of none other than Craig Marshall, whose Popular Crimes and Before The Fadeaway established the Austinite as someone worth giving a listen. Now he's back with his third disc, Point of View, and fans of artists like Jim Boggia, Richard X. Heyman and fellow Texans Fastball will definitely want to give it a spin.

"Difficult" might be one of his best tracks yet. It's a hooky and melodic number as they go, and then around the two-minute mark we get a nice piano break and some Beatlesque harmonies before the chorus fadeout. Other standouts include the British Invasion-inspired "I Know What It's Like", the roots-rocking "When You Come Back Down", and the gorgeously melodic "Paper Cut", which almost sounds like a Brian Wilson version of Badfinger's "Day After Day". Also of note is "One Face In The Crowd", which is where the Fastball comparison comes in.

I'm already looking forward to album #4. -

"CRAIG MARSHALL - Point Of View"


2008 and third album album from Not Lame fave, whose debut "Popular Crimes" and second album "Before The Fadeaway" continue to slowly, surely and inexorably connect with many customers here. You`ll hear hints of Matthew Sweet, Parthenon Huxley, Marshall Crenshaw, Bill Lloyd, Pete Ham(Badfinger) and Richard X. Heyman will find familiar, comforting territory. Some of the material here reminds me of Minibar, as well. And like those artists, the song is what holds thing in place, it`s all carefully constructed and the album has a singer/songwriter arc of grace attached to it. "Singer/songwriter Craig Marshall is Austin`s best-kept power pop secret, and has been quietly releasing records of true melodic grandeur in recent years."-PopCulturePress. "This third album clearly places Marshall in the pantheon of pop songwriting in the vein of Aimee Mann, Neil Finn and Freedy Johnston. While best known as the crooning front man and creative force behind The Lucky Strikes - a Sinatra-style swing band that predates the resurgence of the `90`s - Marshall now emerges as a prominent figure in the pop scene. The ten songs on Point of View are smart and infectiously catchy as Marshall once again proves his ability to put forth radio-friendly pop songs. Resisting categorization, critics cite artists as diverse as Richard X Heyman, Badfinger, Marshall Crenshaw and XTC to describe Marshall`s sound. Evident is his natural "McCartney-esque" melodic sensibility coupled with smart lyrics that speak to the universal. Point of View is also Marshall`s first foray into producing and he demonstrates that his talents go well beyond the lyric sheet with arrangements that are succinct and appropriately lush, yet dynamic. Point of View tips the hat to iconic pop styles but is clearly in step with contemporary indie-pop records."

-TexasMusicRoundup. - TexasMusicRoundup

"Craig Marshall - Point Of View (Big Ticket)"

Craig Marshall - Point Of View (Big Ticket)
This is a scorching power pop CD. It crackles with great songs from the get go! There are traces of Neil Finn influence at the crunchy end of his Crowded House material, with a bit of XTC thrown in for good measure. There are so many good songs it is difficult to know where to start! The most immediate and radio friendly song is (ironically) "Radio Girl" which should raise his profile if it gets played on the radio. There are also three tracks that sound as if Macca himself could have written from The Rubber Soul and Revolver era, namely "When You Come Back Down", "Paper Cut" and "Lost In Space". This album is how it should be, with songs that have intelligent lyrics, great hooks and fine musicianship. Did I say power pop, I meant to say POWERFUL pop. Highly recommended.

Steve O. / Leicester Bangs 6/30/08 - Steve O. / Leicester Bangs

"Craig Marshall “Before The Fadeaway”2005 Big Ticket Records / Score= 7"

Craig Marshall
“Before The Fadeaway”
2005 Big Ticket Records
Score= 7

Craig Marshall is best known as the founder and front man of Austin’s popular swing group the Lucky Strikes. A New York native, he moved here in 1991 to further his music career. “Before The Fadeaway” is his second solo release outside of that band. Having mastered the swing genre, he now moves on to pop music.

Now I’ll admit it- sometimes I hate pop music for no other reason than the fact that I’m a total music snob. I incorrectly assume that “pop” must somehow be watered down and therefore unworthy of my time. This is a false generalization, but I gravitate to it anyway. After all, the Beatles were a pop band; did they lack artistic substance and soul? I think not. So it must be accepted that pop, like any other form of music, has its good side and its bad. But with pop music a much larger percentage is crap due to corporate encroachment- since pop is often used to turn a quick buck. But when it’s artistically driven, it can be VERY good and it often becomes the music best remembered for that place in time in your life, even if you listened to other things. For that reason, it is a respectable thing indeed.

All that being said, it’s obvious that Craig Marshall knows good pop from bad pop, and approaches his songwriting accordingly. He sees the art of it, focusing on melodic sensibility and romantic lyrics that almost anyone could relate to. Being able to make truly good music with an almost universal appeal ain’t easy- and therein lies the magic. Craig sees the value of simplicity and the “less-is-more” approach. The recording is smooth and euphoric with tasteful vocal harmonies throughout. I’m occasionally reminded of some of the better British 80’s pop like XTC, Joe Jackson and Paul Weller’s Style Council. I will admit however that this is the kind of music I have to be in the mood for, which isn’t often- but that’s a personal thing. My favorite track on this CD is "Settle For Me," with a simple melody that practically plays itself.

Craig has a lot of talent along for the ride, primarily that of guitarist / vocalist Jon Notarthomas. Austin regulars like Chris Searls supplies drums and Trish Murphy adds background vocals. Other contributors are Darwin Smith (guitars, xylophone, vocals) John Thomasson (bass) Darin Murphy (drums) Kyle Schneider (drums) Derek Morris (piano, organ, Rhodes, Farfisa) Jeff Botta (percussion) Kevin Lovejoy (piano) Erik Wofford (percussion and electronic effects)

Maria Mesa -
Atown Records / Austin Daze - - Maria Mesa- Atown Records / Austin Daze

"Craig Marshall - Before The Fadeaway"

Craig Marshall -
Before The Fadeaway

Second album from Not Lame fave, whose debut "Popular Crimes" continues to slowly, surely and inexorably connect with many customers here. "Before The Fadeaway" features help from Darrin Murphy(Darin) and has a similar, subtle charged affect as Murphy`s music. You`ll hear hints of Matthew Sweet, Parthenon Huxley, Marshall Crenshaw, Bill Lloyd, Pete Ham(Badfinger) and Richard X. Heyman will find familiar, comforting territory. Some of the material here reminds me of Minibar, as well. And like those artists, the song is what holds thing in place, it`s all carefully constructed and the album has a singer/songwriter arc of grace attached to it. Like his debut, it`s not a `hit you between the eyes` type of release, its charms, its lasting qualities are more slow-burning, but all the more effective and long-lasting, for the patience. In that respect, it`s ambitious because "Before" is never rushing to a chorus, push the obvious hook or melody inside the song---it waits for the right moment to un-leash the `just right` ingredient required by the song---nothing more, nothing less. And that is refreshing, pure and simple.

Not Lame Recording Company / - Not Lame Recording Company

"Craig Marshall - Before the Fadeaway (Big Ticket)"

Craig Marshall -
Before the Fadeaway (Big Ticket)

On his second solo CD, Craig delivers a fine, hook-filled, roots-pop affair (with the emphasis on pop) that retains some of the Beatle influences of his debut this time adding hints of Big Star, Badfinger, and Emmit Rhodes to the mix! The delivery here is a more of an earthier and ragged style (and that's a good thing!) with plenty of guitars and tasteful keyboards driving the proceedings. EXCELLENT!! -

"Popular Crimes (Big Ticket)"

The Austin Chronicle by Ken Lieck

Popular Crimes (Big Ticket)
So where's the crime in being popular? Craig Marshall seems to be out to prove there isn't one. Though the longtime local singer describes this album as "alt-pop," there's very little alt and plenty of pop here, starting with the first track, "Desperately." Even without the prominent harmony vocals of Tony Scalzo, the number could pass for a Fastball tune. And so it continues; "Knock Me Down" has a sweet Burt Bacharach feel to it, and all down the line the songs continue their parade of strong pop-rock. Sure, there's a cliché or two, but love songs and such are part of the game, aren't they? Marshall's head crooner for the Lucky Strikes, and thus has no problem fronting these less-demanding songs vocally. He solidifies the effort with an assembly of fine local musicians like Ron Flynt, Darin Murphy, Jon Sanchez, and more.

A fine solo debut. Officers, release this man!

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- The Austin Chronicle by Ken Lieck



CD "After All" 2015

(Big Ticket Records)


CD "Hiding In The Doorway" 2013

(Big Ticket Records)


CD "Six Songs to Sunday" 2011

(Big Ticket Records)


CD "Point Of View" 2008

(Big Ticket Records)


CD "Before The Fadeaway" 2005

(Big Ticket Records)


CD "Popular Crimes" 2002

(Big Ticket Records)



Awarded – “2016 SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR”! by the Austin Songwriters Group





“Marshall deftly weaves a bit of rockabilly with a twang and a rock beat. This winning combination showcases his solid songwriting and guitar skills.” – Guitar World

Austin-based musician Craig Marshall believes that as a songwriter, he’s only as good as his next song. Fortunately, the prolific Marshall always seems to have a next song on tap, with a songbook that goes back thirty-plus years.  The latest entry into Marshall’s discography is his sixth album After All, arriving via Big Ticket Records on August 7th.  The album’s first single “Something On Your Mind” can be heard now via Guitar World.

The record is Marshall’s second outing with producer (and longtime Marshall admirer), Robert Harrison, leader of the critically acclaimed band, Cotton Mather.

 “Craig Marshall has always kept his artistic sights trained on the loftiest of goals,” comments Harrison.  “That is to craft songs that are immediate, timeless, and classic.”  Indeed, the songs on After All show off Marshall’s gift for penning and performing the kinds of tunes that helped country-inflected folk to eventually become the Americana genre. His longstanding status as a well-kept secret speaks to his influence, while his skills transcend genre at the same time.

 “I’m hearing Buck Owens or Merle Haggard in my head when I’m writing a song like ‘After All’ or ‘The Only Sound,’Marshall says, but in fact, two of After All’s centerpieces, the single “Something On Your Mind” and “Only Till The End of Time” navigate firmly in the Petty-Beatles lane.Marshall’s love of The Beach Boys and The Bee Gees can also be heard, and over the years, critics have cited artists as diverse as Badfinger, Marshall Crenshaw and XTC when describing Marshall.  The songs on After All do show these influences, but ultimately a Marshall fan will hear a Marshall song, and the uninitiated will be treated to a warm, familiar sound that plays unique and fresh.

Band Members