Wynntown Marshals
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Wynntown Marshals

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Americana Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"50 cent lighter"

The Wynntown Marshals - "Westerner"

Source: A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz
Reviewer: Nelson @ www.fiftycentlighter.blogspot.com/
Date: 8th June 2010

Today's second act comes to us all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland but creates a sound that is pure Americana (not that there is any real geographic distinction inherent in that word anyway).

The Wynntown Marshals are composed of vocalist/guitarist Keith Benzie, drummer Keith Jones, pedal steel guitar player Iain Sloan, lead guitarist Iain Barbour, backing players Simon Ritson (bass) and Ali Petrie (keys), and an obvious love for a classic alt-country sound.

The band readily admits its debt to acts such as Neil Young, The Jayhawks, and Uncle Tupelo, and I'm not the only blogger to notice Benzie's vocal similarities to Jeff Tweedy.

The album begins with the one/two punch of the guitar drenched original "You Can Have My Heart" and a countrified cover of LA Guns' "Ballad of Jayne."

Things stay strong from there with songs about the world's only albino gorilla ("Snowflake"), an unfortunate Greyhound trip ("48 Hours"), and American pin-up artist Gil Elvgren ("Gil").

Each song is built around strong country/rock grooves with plenty of twang... a strong album from start to finish.

It's scary to think that this is just The Wynntown Marshals' debut release.

Link: http://fiftycentlighter.blogspot.com/

- hal bogard

"No Depression"

The Wynntown Marshals - "Westerner"

Source: No Depression / Hickory Wind
Reviewer: Hal Bogerd
Date: 30th May 2010

Ridin' the Hound with the Wynntown Marshals

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, the Wynntown Marshals mix country-twang and roots-rock on their debut full-length disc "Westerner" (Charger). They aren't afraid to acknowledge their debt to Uncle Tupelo and the Jayhawks and Keith Benzie's voice bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr. Tweedy.

As much as I like the Wynntown Marshals' sound, it is the songwriting that elevated this disc to a lock for my "debut disc of 2010". The band stays away from the cowboy, guns and whiskey alt.country staples and Keith describes his songwriting style as follows: "I like to take the Americana genre and song structures but try to write 'contemporary' songs that flip the conventional ideas on their head. I like to write songs from personal experience when I can ('48 Hours' for example)".

Highlights from "Westerner" are an unexpected cover of L.A. Guns' "Ballad of Jayne" (adding pedal steel guitar transforms a minor glam metal rock hit into an alt.country gem) and the closing track "Two's Company" - which owes more to post-Replacements Westerberg than Wilco .

I tracked down Keith Benzie, singer/songwriter for the band, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about "Westerner".

Hal: "Snowflake" might be my favorite song on "Westerner". Could you give a bit of background about "Snowflake"?

KeithB: "Snowflake" is about Copito de Nieve, the world's only albino gorilla who lived at Barcelona Zoo until his death some years ago. My sister-in-law lives in Barcelona so, every time we visit, I see postcards with this beautiful creature on them and his really was a sad story. So I thought I'd write a song from his point of view.

Hal: I admit to being surprised when I read that the Wynntown Marshals were formed in Edinburgh. It's not exactly a hotbed of Americana (or is it?). What were you doing before forming the band.

KeithB: I've lived in Edinburgh since I moved here to study when I was 17. Keith Jones (Marshals' drummer) and I met back in 2001 and formed a band called The Sundowns. We had some great times but the band eventually came to an end and we decided to keep going, forming The Wynntown Marshals. So began the journey which brings us to this point. I'd agree that Edinburgh definitely isn't what you would call a 'hotbed of Americana', but there are enough great musicians around who are into the same kind of music. Glasgow (which is just an hour away) holds an annual Americana festival.

Hal: Could you mention some of your musical influences or artists you admire?

KeithB: I've always liked Neil Young and the Stones, but my music taste (and indeed my whole life) was really changed by 3 records - "Hollywood Town Hall" by The Jayhawks and a double-LP I got back in 1992 of "March 16-20" and "Still Feel Gone" by Uncle Tupelo. I've been listening to Americana ever since! The guys in the band share a love of music like Wilco, Drive-By Truckers, Fountains of Wayne and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. I also really love storytellers like Richmond Fontaine and Calexico and contemporary bands like Phoenix, Midlake and Band of Horses. Ryan Adams is great too.

Hal: I really love "48 Hours". Chuck Berry, Jack Kerouac, Harvey Pekar and Jonathan Richman have all romanticized bus travel in their various art forms. If readers have ever actually taken a long cross-country bus ride, they'll know that "48 Hours" is a gritty, realistic description of that quirky form of long-distance travel. You've got a great imagination or you've actually taken that long slow bus trip.

KeithB: That song is borne out of personal experience - every word of it! I was staying with some friends near San Francisco back in 1999 and needed to get to Chicago to meet some friends. I had plenty of time (but little money) so the Greyhound seemed like a good idea. Little did I know what was in store. Bus journeys in the UK are so short in comparison! I had this romantic vision of Greyhound travel from books and the movies but it just wasn't like that! Two days on a cramped bus with some interesting characters, a couple of borrowed paperbacks and countless service station meals stretched my sanity to the limit, but it did get me to where I needed to be and I knew the experience had to become a song some day.

Hal: Any plans to tour (hopefully the US) in support of "Westerner"?

KeithB: We're playing UK shows in the summer and would like to head over to Europe in the near future. We'd love to come to play in the States some time but, as the band is entirely self-financed and the record is on our own label at the moment, we'll just need to see what happens!

Hal: What was your weirdest gig?

KeithB: Our drummer's brother, a navy man, got married last year and we agreed (fully kilted up) to play at the reception. Other entertainment during the evening included a string quartet, an Elvis impersonator and a fire juggler, and the reception to our first set was lukewarm to say the least. The second set was a different matter though, as copious amounts of alcohol had obviously kicked in by this stage! We ended the night in the company of some exceptionally inebriated sailors, one of whom proceeded, by turns, to praise us then put us down - all in a highly foul mouthed fashion. A most unusual evening...

Hal: Great disc Keith! Thanks for taking the time to chat.

Link: http://www.nodepression.com/ - No Depression

"maverick magazine"

The Wynntown Marshals - "Westerner"

Source: Maverick
Reviewer: JHS
Date: May 2010 issue
Rating: *****/*****

Americana from Scotland: As a debut, this is quite simply stunning

The Wynntown Marshals join an elite band of UK based acts that perform country- rock with a deep conviction, and I have to state that this is one of the best UK country-rock releases I have heard in a long time.

Formed in Edinburgh in 2007, they have earned their stripes supporting the likes of Chuck Prophet, Richmond Fontaine and Jason and the Scorchers, and have honed their musical chops over the last two years to produce what must be one of the finest Americana/country-rock, call it what you will, albums of 2010.

The line up consists of songwriter Keith Benzie who also handles guitar and lead vocal duties, Iain Sloan on guitars and pedal steel, Iain Barbour on lead guitar and percussionist Keith Jones ably assisted by bassist Simon Ritson and, on keys, Ali Petrie... and what a glorious sound they produce.

The album opens with "You Can Have My Heart", a song that has just the right amount of strut and swagger to make you want to reach for the bottle, in the nicest possible way of course. Love and longing are the main ingredients of the song and, along with a killer hook, this is the perfect opener, willing the listener to want more.

After the first few bars, I wound up the volume and let it hit me straight between the eyes. If you like the Deadstring Brothers, you’ll love this band.

Of the eleven tracks, all are composed by Keith Benzie apart from just one cover - second cut "Ballad Of Jayne", originally performed and written by US sleaze rockers LA Guns in the 1980s. A great song of loss given the country-rock treatment, and it really does work - great twin guitar work from Benzie and Barbour and some superb steel playing from Iain Sloan.

These guys sound as if they have been playing together for years and have a musical maturity far superior to the majority of UK country-rock bands treading the boards today.

Other stand-out cuts include the steel-laden ballads "Nelly" and "All That I Want", and the story of a coach-trip gone terribly wrong, "48 Hours".

The musicianship is first rate, Keith Benzie’s whisky-soaked gruff delivery is perfect and, as production duties are jointly handled by the band along with Graham Deas (who has, in the past, worked with KT Tunstall and Super Furry Animals), I have no hesitation on giving this debut release the full five stars, as it will certainly be in my top five albums of 2010.

Link: www.maverick-country.com [May 2010 issue] - maverick


Wynntown Marshals ep - 2007
Ballad of Jayne single - 2008
Westerner Album - 2010
Live ep - on its way!

all tracks streamed on the apple app



Formed in Edinburgh in 2007, the Wynntown Marshals tip their hat to artists like The Jayhawks, Wilco, Drive-By Truckers, Ryan Adams and Neil Young.

The Marshals’ sound can loosely be described as ‘country rock’, although the power pop hooks of ‘Two’s Company’ and the Stonesy swagger of ‘You Can Have My Heart’ convey the band’s love of guitars, their way with a catchy chorus and their unabashed belief in the power of rock music as a storytelling medium.

In 2008 the Marshals performed as UK tour support for the influential American singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet and performed to critical acclaim at the 2008 and 2009 Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots festivals in Ireland.

The band has also supported other renowned Americana acts including Richmond Fontaine and Jason & The Scorchers.

Their debut album ‘Westerner’ was produced by the band and Graham Deas (KT Tunstall, Super Furry Animals) at the Substation in Fife.

Chief songwriter Keith Benzie follows the storytelling tradition of the Americana genre and touches on some diverse subject matter, including the world’s only albino gorilla (‘Snowflake’), 50s pin-up artists (‘Gil’) and the devastation of trench warfare (‘Divine Compassion’).

Pedal steel-drenched ballads (‘Nelly’ and ‘All That I Want’) serve as a counterpoint to songs like the epic, pastoral, slow burner ‘Thunder in the Valley’ and the band’s Hammond-organ led, widescreen paean to a Greyhound trip gone bad ’48 Hours’.

Throughout the album guest keys player Ali Petrie’s parts complement the excellent guitar interplay of Iain Sloan and Iain Barbour, and the heartfelt lyrics and vocals help the band forge a sound that is truly their own.

Their single release ‘The Ballad of Jayne’ (a celebrated cover of a song by 80s American rockers LA Guns) is also included on the album. The same single received airplay from Bob Harris on his BBC Radio 2 show, and he proclaimed the track to be ‘excellent – a current favourite’.

The band urge you to pack your bags and get on the next bus to Wynntown – a small, homely place populated by down to earth, hard working types, where a fist fight is often followed by a bear hug and lost love and heartache might be only a drink away.

A few of the locals might seem a little rough round the edges but you can be sure of a warm welcome. You never know, you might just want to stay a while.