The Wynntown Marshals

by The Wynntown Marshals

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Review: The Wynntown Marshals - "The Wynntown Marshals"

Source: Crooked Rain
Date: 15th May 2008
Written by: Duke Dali

Rising phoenix-like from the ashes of The Sundowns, the Marshals retain Keith Benzie on guitar and vocals, Keith Jones (Fife's answer to John Bonham) on drums and BVs, Simon Ritson on bass duties, with the addition of Iain Barbour on guitar and Iain Sloan on pedal steel, guitar and BVs.

As evidenced on this mini-album (six songs), there is no radical departure from the sound of The Sundowns. Essentially, that means that (for your money) you get a high-class slice of homegrown Americana that begs to be heard.

From the opening guitar strums and Benzie's plaintive vocals on "After All These Years", the band are in full control, slipping into a song that sounds as if it's been around forever to be played on jukeboxes in honky-tonks for beer-sozzled Romeos bewildered by the lack of romance in their lives.

Barbour's solo in this is a joy, and he continues to delight in the following song "Different Drug" - another wearied tale of ennui.

More follows in the same vein, but the centre-piece and highlight of the disc is the epic "11:15" - a re-telling of 'The Muckle Spate' of 1829, when the north-east of Scotland suffered the greatest flood in recent history.

Very much in the vein in which Drive-By Truckers eulogise Alabama's past, The Marshals take a piece of history and marry it to an exhilarating ride.

Apocalyptic in its telling ("the lightning looked like fire in the skies...", "foot by foot the mighty lakes and angry rivers rose...", "there were drowning animals as far as the eye could see..."), it also tells the individual tale of Charles Cruickshank - an inn-keeper killed by the deluge - whose watch stopped at the time of his death (11:15).

Around this, the band play furiously, whipping up a veritable storm as the song progresses through its six minutes of Homeric rhetoric. A showstopper when played live, I'm sure!

"I Should've Guessed" closes the show - another romp through familiar Americana territory. Mention should also be made of Leigh Benzie, who adds vocals to several of the songs, complementing those of her brother Keith.

credits

released February 1, 2008

The Wynntown Marshals:

Keith Benzie: Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Keith Jones: Drums, Backing Vocals
Simon Ritson: Bass Guitar, Mandolin
Iain Barbour: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel

with:
Iain Sloan: Pedal Steel on 5 & 7, 12-string on 7, Backing Vocals on 2
Leigh Benzie: Backing Vocals

Produced by Graham Deas at the Substation (Rosyth, Fife)

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about

The Wynntown Marshals Edinburgh, UK

Formed in Edinburgh in 2007, The Marshals tip their hat to The Jayhawks, Wilco, Drive-By Truckers, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams & Neil Young.

Their sound can loosely be described as ‘country rock' with powerpop hooks, but they love layered guitars, catchy choruses and have an unabashed belief in the power of rock music as a storytelling medium.

The new album "The Long Haul" is out now!
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Track Name: After All These Years
Well I’m just sitting here putting things in boxes
‘Cos you told me that I couldn’t stay
I wish that we could box up all these memories
And open them together another day

My darling there’s this light that shines inside you
Shining like this hotel’s chandelier
And though my heart still burns for you, it’s cold here without you
Winter sure showed up early this year

Outside there’s this couple fighting in the car park
She’s just speaking her mind while he tries to find the keys
And then the engine it won’t start so they just sit there in the dark
Wondering how they’re still together after all these years
They’re still sitting here together after all these years

After all these years we struggle on together
After all these years we tried to make it alone
We’re still sitting here together after all these years

After all these years we struggle on together
After all these years we tried to make it alone
We’re still sitting here together after all these years
We’re still sitting here together after all these years
We’re still sitting here together after all these years
Track Name: Different Drug
Got up today, legs they felt heavy
Thought about taking back some of the things I’d said
Maybe I just need an explanation
Maybe I should just head on back to bed

Cos sometimes heartache is just a chance you have to take
You’ve been leaving footprints on the rug
We can all find better peace of mind
We can always use a different drug

We go to lunch in expensive restaurants
You know I don’t like overpriced food
Later on have another bottle
Are you sure the last one did us any good?

About 4 o clock I took the call
You said she served her time in the Wrens
At least we had a chance to say goodbye now
A chance to say goodbye with all of your friends

Cos sometimes heartache is just a chance you have to take
You’ve been leaving footprints on the rug
We can all find a better peace of mind
We can always use a different drug

And the drugs they help you out
Do they give you all the answers?
We will find each other somehow
We will find each other there

And sometimes heartache is just a chance you have to take
You’ve been leaving footprints on the rug
We can all find a better peace of mind
We can always use a different drug
Track Name: Silent Movie
Old Xmas trees and rubbish bags litter the street
The frost it crackles under your feet
You can feel your heart in time to a different beat
And the guy at the corner bar his expression signals defeat

Your name, your name, your name is etched in my heart
This vision I see each day when it starts
Your hazy reflection hangs in every mirror
And your old coat still sits on the back of my chair

My heart was heavy that day
The train left the station and took you away
My hope it was tied to the line
This is no silent movie, didn’t get there on time
Track Name: Blindsided
Well the tires just crossed the rumble strip for the fifteenth time
It’s just as well they’re there ‘cos you’ve been asleep for miles
Almost killed us yesterday while we were reading in the back
Just keep your eyes on the horizon and watch out for speed traps

I don’t want to be blindsided again
Do you think that’s any way yeah to treat a friend?
I don’t want to be blindsided again
Do you think that’s any way yeah to treat a friend?

Tuesday in the airport we were going through hell
You stopped me in my tracks in turmoil by the baggage carousel
Driving home I talked, you listened you owed me that much ‘cos it’s been so long
Didn’t want to stop ‘cos I knew when I pulled over you’d be gone

I don’t want to be blindsided again
Do you think that’s any way yeah to treat a friend?
I don’t want to be blindsided again
Do you think that’s any way yeah to treat a friend?

And you’ve always been a little more than that
Some call this recklessness but I’d be there in two seconds flat
And you’ve always seen a little more than me
So while I’m blindsided please watch over me

Sometimes heading home just seems like the safest thing to do
There’s something in the air & the people there
Can spur you on when you feel through
The purple tinged horizon stirs the heart and relieves the fear
And this broken ride on the blinded side has kept my thoughts & feelings clear

I don’t want to be blindsided again
Do you think that’s any way yeah to treat a friend?
Please don’t let me be blindsided again
Do you think that’s any way yeah to treat a friend?
Track Name: 11:15
The perfect storm came in the summertime
August 3rd 1829, swore they’d never seen that kind of rain
You could hear the sound of thunder and the ground began to shake
All those rivers in spate, 60 acres became a lake

Everybody in the north east was taken by surprise
Some folks said that the lightning looked like liquid fire in the sky
Two whole days, non stop rain
Two whole days, non stop rain

Foot by foot the mighty lakes and angry rivers rose
Well they wiped out farms and toppled trees from Inverness to Montrose
Boats were forced out of the sea
And there were drowning animals as far as the eye could see

The people ran for cover from the catastrophic floods
There was talk of divine retribution and the vengeance of the lord
Even the minister lost and acre of his land yesterday
And the five arch Telford granite bridge has been all but swept away

Everybody in the north east was taken by surprise
Some folks said that the lightning looked like liquid fire in the sky
Two whole days, non stop rain
Two whole days, non stop rain

The innkeeper’s name was Cruickshank and he did the best he could
He took his ancient float on down the burn to salvage some of his wood
He got swept away but before he was lost he jumped onto a tree
Stranded in the rising black, how he held on is still a mystery to me

All attempts at rescue failed as the darkness it came down
His shouts for help were all that were heard by the people of the town
In the morning the tree was gone, his body washed up downstream
His pocket watch was found fully wound it had stopped at 11.15

Everybody in the north east was taken by surprise
Some folks said that the lightning looked like liquid fire in the sky
Two whole days, non stop rain
Two whole days, non stop rain
Two whole days, non stop rain
Two whole days, non stop rain
Track Name: I Should Have Guessed
I listen to the rain outside
The world’s asleep now but I’m alive
Sometimes you’ve got to take what you can get

True to life outside it’s pouring down
So many freaks buzzing round this town
Make me feel normal, remind me not to give up yet

I should’ve guessed
You’d take my heart and leave the rest
Give it back another time
We can leave this all behind

Back roads we travel all the time
With aching backs and weary minds
I know somehow they all led us here

So like the summer rain you came and then were gone
Like a star you burst and then you shone
Someone help me get away from here

I should’ve guessed
You’d take my heart and leave the rest
Give it back another time
We can leave this all behind
Write me back another day
If you’ve got something left to say
Raindrops falling in the dark
I should’ve guessed right from the start

If you’ve got the time of day
Tell me that you’re doing OK baby
Been around for a week or two
Your conversation’s overdue baby, yeah

Finding ways to pass the time
How come days off are never fine?
The morning too short, the evening’s getting too long now

So as another night draws to an end
I try to sleep but I only pretend
Lying here the raindrops are the only sound

I should’ve guessed
You’d take my heart and leave the rest
Give it back another time
We can leave this all behind
Write me back another day
If you’ve got something left to say
Raindrops falling in the dark
I should’ve guessed right from the start
Track Name: The Burning Blue
Fire ‘em up boys and have no fear
Squadron Leader says the coast is clear
Just a routine patrol
Been here countless times before

Said that the last time we did this run
Got bounced by some 110’s came out of the sun
I thank this parachute on my back
‘Cos my best friend he didn’t come back

The powers that be say it’s worth the cost
It’s in these skies the war will be won or lost

Don’t understand how we got this far
Finished basic training at the end of March
These last few months have been a blur
Sleep depravation a new kind of war

I swing my harness up on through the door
Your picture’s next to my heart and my will’s on the cockpit floor
Now it’s every man for himself
Superstition is bad for your health

The powers that be say it’s worth the cost
It’s in these skies the war will be won or lost

Keep an eye out over your shoulder
That’s what the guys in the mess say to do
They must be doing something right ‘cos they’re still here drinking
Still here drinking…

Up in the burning blue
Better keep your wits around you
When the tracers are flying and people are dying
Hell, you’ve got a job to do

The powers that be say it’s worth the cost
It’s in these skies the war will be won or lost