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Lewisburg, West Virginia, 24901, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFM

Lewisburg, West Virginia, 24901, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Folk Indie




"Up-and-coming band Marguerite creates a fresh sound through old-world sensibilities"

The two central songwriters of the up-and-coming four-member band Marguerite are young, but their lyrics and music reflect a simple honesty that harkens back to the early 20th Century. Their music straddles a modern sensibility and a blend of traditional genres — folk, jazz, classic county, Americana.

The lyrics of “Snowflake Fall,” set to be released this year on the forthcoming album “The Whistler,” blend together present-day sensitivity, wordsmithing like Bob Dylan and the sorrow of a folk ballad. But the song itself is set in 3/4 time. With the addition of playful exchanges between mandolin and bass, and Abby Reynolds’ buoyant vocals, the song is a refreshing hybrid of musical past and present.

It makes sense that such a fresh yet, at times, familiar sound was born in Greenbrier County, where the young musicians grew out of an eclectic and art-minded community.

Band core members Abby Reynolds and Josiah Spanger explain that Marguerite first formed while they were in high school.

Josiah, who comes from a musical family, invited Abby over for guitar lessons.

"I thought it might be a good idea to invite over this pretty girl, whom I’d had a crush on for years, for guitar lessons with the motivation of getting her hand," he explained.

Once they began playing together, their romance bloomed into a musical partnership.

Their self-titled first album of original music was released in 2012 just before their junior year of high school, and Josiah's father, local musician Mark Spangler, has been a major influence and source of support.

Now students at Concord University, their second album is currently being mastered by New York-based sound engineer Rick Kwan.

Josiah's brother, Charleston-area lawyer Evan Olds, plays bass and is considered the band's "master arranger."

Monroe County native and carpenter Jeremiah Hatfield, who plays mandolin and guitar, joined the group, adding what the group calls "icing on the cake."

"He knows all the notes," joked Evan.

"All the notes we don't know," added Josiah.

As a four member group, the scope of their music has widened. The first youthful album is rooted in a country-rock-folk tradition. Now the group feels free to work within a variety of genres.

"These two (Evan and Jeremiah) helped us become a full band, what we always envision. They added to our sound and broadened our horizons. With them we've been more open to perform a Patsy Cline cover or an old jazz standard," Josiah explained.

Lewisburg, hometown for three of the band members, has had a constant although small music scene. And with venues like Carnegie Hall's with its Ivory Terrace Music Series, the group found changes to perform. Marguerite performed at Carnegie Hall when Abby and Josiah were in 10th grade.

"When you grow up in a community like Lewisburg that is small, there are handfuls of people who love when you come around. It is more of a personal connection.They get a lot out of your music, even if it is just five people," explained Abby.

"It is definitely worth playing — even in a 50-person crowd and 45 of the people are not listening — for those five listeners in a bar full of drinkers," Josiah added.

But Lewisburg is a bit of an anomaly, Evan pointed out, and there aren't always venues for a band with two members under 21 to perform across the region.

"A lot of the places to play in southern West Virginia are bar settings, which doesn't necessarily cater to our music. We play a wide range. It's not always rock. Sometimes we have really soft, lyric heavy songs that don't go over so well in bars," Josiah explained.

It's also a challenge to get proprietors to hear you. Often venues want only the local bands that have traveled the regional circuit for years, Evan explained.

Marguerite is just now at a crossroads where they perform nearly every weekend and they are being talked about across the region.

They are also being taken seriously, something that didn't always happen a few years ago.

"A few shows we played we were introduced as a high school band and we weren't taken seriously," said Josiah. "We are constantly growing as musicians, and I think people are now looking at that more than our age, at least l hope so."

"We've always taken what we do very seriously, and it was hard to get people to realize that," added Abby. "When we perform we are usually respected because we act professionally. The more we play it pays off."

They encourage other young up-and-coming musicians, to be persistent and keep trying.

"It takes time and endurance," Abby continued. "If you really believe in it, and it is something you think you should be doing, people are going to take notice."

"As long as you keep on doing what you love doing — playing, writing and trying to do something different, you’ll be OK," added Josiah.

And the band members are doing something different in a state where many other young professionals are leaving.

"I plan on living here as long as I can," Josiah said. "West Virginia has so much to offer, so much culture, beautiful scenery and really, really good people. There would be no reason to leave the state. It depends on how you want to live your life. For me, I love the rural setting."

Evan noted that the rural setting inspires much of their music.

Josiah said he finds himself writing songs when he has time to relax in solitude, on a trail walk or daydreaming in nature.

The band's name itself also grounds them to simple farm living.

Marguerite is Abby's middle name and her great-grandmothers name, who lived on a Greenbrier County farm for most of her life. She built her livelihood in the home where Abby and her family still live.

The band's namesake was honest, hardworking and elegant — all qualities they want to reflect when they play music.

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Marguerite is still booking gigs for the summer months. To contact the band, e-mail or connect through Facebook,

See Marguerite perform at an upcoming concert, and watch for more upcoming performances announced on Facebook.

April 20 — 8 p.m. at the Student Center at Concord University in Athens.

May 18 — 6 to 9 p.m. at the Smooth Ambler Distillery in Maxwelton

— Email:; follow on Twitter @Sarah_E_Plummer - Register-Herald


Still working on that hot first release.



At its core, Marguerite is comprised of two songwriters, Josiah Spangler and Abigail Reynolds, whose songs span genres of jazz, folk, rock, and experimental, and whose harmonies coalesce in an ambience further pronounced by the upright bass of Evan Olds and the guitars and effects of Jeremiah Hatfield.

Marguerite's home-base is in the mountains of southern WV where the band draws inspiration and an impressive following. In the Fall of 2016, Marguerite released their second album, titled, The Whistler. The new material is sampled herein.

Band Members