Marlon Williams & the Yarra Benders - Julia Jacklin @ DC9, Washington DC - Sep 24 2016.
Tonight's all Australasian show begins with a singer songwriter on vocals and electric guitar, accompanied with one guitarist for all but one song. Julia Jacklin keeps things steady as there is a moderate pace to the strumming, which makes the vocals a bit more dramatic than they might be, were they lost in guitar wash. The songs are interesting with quiet deep tones and the sizable crowd is attentive, which is nice for a Saturday night.
There is good chemistry between crowd and performer with the banter and things are off to a fine start. Julia Jacklin is a fine artist, who is not quite 'out of the pack' of fine performers and ready to take over the world, but has the raw materials to do quite well and the world is in sight.
Marlon Williams & the Yarra Benders
From New Zealand comes this excellent singer songwriter who handles the guitar and vocals and is accompanied with drums, acoustic bass, and a violin. The violin is a great touch (it almost always is) as the runs are occasionally powerful, but more often subtle with delicate feeling added.
The vocals are highly expressive and I am really hearing a powerful Ray Davies style storytelling here. That is not easy, but somehow Williams has that command of a phrase and control of the vocal rhythms to lift his songs into higher territories than most singer songwriters.
Unfortunately my lack of sleep and globe trotting has caught up with me and I am nearly out on my feet tonight. So I cut the set a little short, but saw enough recommend Marlon Williams to all lovers of song, voice, and craft. He has the full package.
(1) Julia Jacklin,
(2) Marlon Williams