Pin It
Favorite

Folkster's Paradise 

Spokane cultivates the music scene that Marshall McLean calls home

click to enlarge The Marshall McLean Band releases their first record this weekend. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The Marshall McLean Band releases their first record this weekend.

He believes in this little corner of the universe. In the people, musicians and creators who make up the Spokane arts scene. That's why Marshall McLean has chosen to make this place home; raise a family here, even contribute to a genre of music he's labeled Northwest Americana Rock.

"I came here because of my wife," the Montana-raised singer-songwriter says last week at a local coffeehouse. "Now the climate in Spokane is changing. Whether it be arts, music or more, there's starting to be a full commitment shown by this community."

He did the Seattle push with his band The Horse Thieves last year, but that quietly imploded. "I don't want to say we'll never get back together," he says of the band.

In January, the Marshall McLean Band emerged from that dust.

McLean had just finished a solo set in Sandpoint when a random guy who thought they should collaborate approached him.

"Usually when strangers tell me we would make great music together, I'm pretty quick to steer clear of them," McLean says, laughing.

But instead of losing bassist Justin Landis' number, the next time McLean was driving through North Idaho, he gave him a call and the two hit it off. Next, Jamie Frost on pedal steel and drummer Caleb Ingersoll were invited to the party. Although each musician is a member of other groups, this band has been pushed to the forefront, especially with a brand-new album about to be released on their own record label, Hotel Stella.

All those years ago back in Billings, he was a Christian artist. Now McLean is pushing away from that pigeonhole.

"I hate when people use the term 'Christian' as an adjective," he says.

For his album Glossolalia, Greek for "speaking in tongues," he explains that the religious aspect of his work has moved from an overtone to an undertone. Like the flurry of language that occurs when one is overcome by the Holy Spirit, McLean says, his songs don't always make sense chronologically or otherwise, but instead are stitched together by like ideas.

"The album's theme is this: We are products of our history and we're all just working through it," he explains.

For McLean, the act of writing is the antithesis of most musicians' approach. It begins with the name of the album, then the song title. Based on how he wants the song to feel, verses flow out next with the help of a guitar; finally, he comes up with the chorus.

"It's really a cerebral approach for me," McLean says. "Sometimes I feel like I'm not even a musician."

The result is a Kickstarter-funded product to which fans will be proud to have helped contribute.

"With this record, I feel I'm on my way to finding my voice," McLean says. ♦

[email protected]

Marshall McLean CD release party with Mama Doll, Bart Budwig • Sat, Nov. 15 at 8 pm • The Bartlett • 228 W. Sprague nYne, 232 W. Sprague Ave. • $10/$12 at the door • All-ages • thebartlettspokane.com

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Rock the Power
  • Rock the Power

    What the changing political and social climate means for local musicians
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • The Future Sounds Like...
  • The Future Sounds Like...

    What is to be, and what could be, for the local music scene in 2017
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • Showing Up
  • Showing Up

    Reflecting on some of our favorite touring concerts of the year, Inlander music writers see hope for the future
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Laura Johnson

Most Commented On

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Review


Film


Music


Readers also liked…

  • No Stopping Him
  • No Stopping Him

    Graham Nash has written songs that moved a generation, and he's still creating
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Tickle the Keys
  • Tickle the Keys

    The Ridler Piano Bar keeps the good times rolling in downtown Spokane with dueling musicians
    • Jun 17, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation