IYDLYC SUPER DELUXE PACKAGE ON SALE NOW! 

The brand new 2017 edition of MARAH'S IYDLYC contains a SIXTEEN PAGE 12" booklet inside the gatefold featuring all the lyrics, drawings, liner notes and never before seen photographs from the 2005/06 era tour. This one feels more like a “Folkways” edition, a real document.

The brand new Scott Hull (MasterDisk) 180 gm master sounds more spectacular then ever before and also includes the lost classic "This Time"

Super high quality Bella canvas zip up hooded MARAH sweatshirt S - XXXL

IYDLYC Tee - S-XXXL

ALSO!!! Where applicable, your PayPal purchase also grants you admission to one of MARAHS Holiday Spectacular pre-show soundcheck parties this December

(DC, PHILLY, NYC, ASBURY)....please specify which show anytime after ordering and before December rolls around...

Just drop us a line at marahsoundcheckparty@gmail.com at your own convenience and we'll make sure your name is at the door!

Show up early and come hang with us as we warm up a bunch of RnR music pre-doors, get the autographed holiday poster AND Marah will buy the pints!!

ORDER NOW AT THE MARAH STORE!

 

 

VALLEY FARM SONGS  

When we were young and crazy and lived in Philadelphia we learned to use a tiny hunting cabin in deepest central Pennsylvania as an escape hatch. We traveled out there whenever we could. Wrote songs. 

Nights, we would drive the old dirt, fire-tower roads. Blacker then black. Stars like you were standing on the moon. We blasted the Ramones, Hank Williams, the TragicallyHip, Social Distortion and Woody Guthrie. We got high and considered what our own band might someday sound like. 

Around that same time we also made a boom box cassette recording with its very own Sharpie magic marker cover. We called it VALLEY FARM SONGS. It was our original dabble into the fine line between RnR and more traditional American music. Folk songs, Grandpa Jones, Waylon, Elvis. (I wish you guys could hear it. Hmmm, maybe one day we can consider releasing that whole, wild, primitive piece of music as well? I'd love that) 

Anyway, years later we doubled back and borrowed the VFS name to use as our official moniker. From that day on our vinyl records would be released under that VFS imprint. 

To celebrate and commemorate ValleyFarmSongs entering into a brand new vinyl distribution affiliation (tell ya all about it in another post soon) we are releasing a very limited addition run of these super cool tee-shirts. 

Two styles! “The Ringer” (S-XL) and “Classic Black” (S-XXXL) 

(I can't lie, a big reason we are manufacturing these shirts is because we wanna wear em ourselves.) 

But you should really consider rocking one too! It directly helps us out. Keeps us alive and making art, really. 

We are excited that going forward our VFS LP's will be available in some of the coolest Indie record shops worldwide. Now more casual fans can stumble upon MARAH as they flip through the racks, word. Movin’ on up. 

Obviously we are super proud of our records and have been sparing no expense in their quality and fidelity and that ain't changin’. 

But if you buy these tee's directly from us, right now, today, It helps us out immensely in continuing that righteous and spendy American pursuit. Making super high quality records. 

Wear this proud, our little mom & pop LP operation is IMO as cool as it gets, a labor of love and integrity and soul and independence in a world of confusion. Rock/Roll. 

The first MARAH shirt the doesn't actually say MARAH, how cool. I’d wear that. 

When they are gone, they are gone. So act quickly. 

Thank you! Also, can't wait to return to you all this Holiday season. Till then! 

Your real friends, 

XOXOMARAH

Thanks, Conshy 

We had such an incredible time playing in our hometown last night. I can't thank everyone who came out enough. It was a dream come true. And special thanks to my old Conshy friends, John DePietro and Kevin Duda for playing along with us. You guys are the best. Thanks Conshy. Much Love. 
#conshohocken #marah

CONSHOHOCKEN BLUES 

 

 

 

I worked my way through High School at the Gulf Gas station on 5th and Fayette St. An old school operation. 7 bucks an hour. 

I pumped gasoline and changed the plastic #'s on the marquee. I patched tires and painted the curbs industrial grey twice a year. I wore the requisite "working blue" button down gas station shirts, a big orange Gulf patch over my heart, the other side said "dave" in red cursive stitching on a white patch. A backwards Philadelphia Phillies hat. 

 It was a look. 

I wrote "Faraway You" there. I remember playing the pulse-y bit on my banjo in the empty garage after it got dark one September evening, 3 cars up on the lifts. I listened for the kick drum pattern in the echo of the room.

The thumpy sporadic bass notes. 

I played it in a circle for an hour. More. Then I suddenly heard exactly how the whole thing would go. 

I had a big breakthrough on a song called "Formula, Cola Dollar Draft" there too. The words went and went pretty effortlessly there for a while but, like a lot of things, it eventually got all jammed up and wouldn't budge. Weeks passed. I remember something about a church? A line of light, I was trying to push it all out of a shadow. Bing, the bell rang as a big 87 Mercury slid up to the outside island. A $10 bill was passed through an uncaring slit, Tina Turner was singing "What's Love Got to Do With It" inside. 

I returned to my song. It was so different than that one. Something about pigeons in a belfry. It was probably the next morning (a Sunday?) that it all just flopped out. I filled a mess of white sheets from a phone memo pad with the rest of the words, fast as I could write it as I remember. It was done. I felt good about that. 

I used to roll tires around in a big water tub looking for bubbles, I also had a hand held metal wand thing w a funny, floppy mop on the end soaked in dish soap that I could use if the tire was still connected to a car. It would bubble up. Yup, slow leak, I'd say. Cut it hard. I can fix that. 

When our band started to play shows at The Barbary and JC Dobbs on South Street a lot of times I'd still be wearing my gas station clothes. I remember someone commenting once on it like it was fashion, like it was "rockabilly" or something like that. 

I started throwing different clothes into a plastic bag after that. 

Super proud to have been asked to try to get a festival off the ground in my old hometown. Couldn't say no. 

 Could only say yes. And that doesn't happen too often. 

Over the next bunch of years I'd love to play this festival every year, i hope we can. 

Id like to work on it, too... Try to make it better and better, invite other cool bands that we like, make it a destination trip for tons of other people in downtown Philly or Jersey who might wanna take a summer ride. That'd make us really proud. 

This SATURDAY June 24th. We begin. MARAH at the A Field. CONSHOHOCKEN 

Beer, music, memories. Don't miss it.

 

Photo credit: Jack Coll

LONDON-VALENCIA-BILBAO- boom boom boom 


LONDON crowd was amazing, so much love between them and us. So much past. Some sort of British Airways complimentary sinus infection made performing (singing) far more difficult then usual but who could care? Fuck all that once the lights go down, once the bagpipes begin to play. Any shortcoming at all are quickly swallowed up by the crowd, our personal shit becomes the most irrelevant stuff in the room. It's funny how that works. What remains is massive understanding. So London roared at us and we roared right back.

So many old friends. I heard so many stories from folks about their first UK shows, how happy they were to see us come back together, how sad they were when we really fell apart, people from Italy, Spain, Scotland, Philadelphia! all over the UK. Thanks. It felt cool. Missed u a lot. 

In VALENCIA oranges fall off trees and roll down the sidewalks. It's nothing like the dingy, grey yet desperately romantic Camden Market. Our Spanish crowds are some of our favorites anywhere on Earth. I met a couple who were married to "City of Dreams." I wish I would have got a chance to sing it for them. Next time! They say the beaches in Valencia are some of the greatest in the world. We've prolly played Valencia 10x's now and never ever seen 'em. It's possible that they don't even exist.This time I saw the inside of yet another graffiti dressing room and the end of my brothers guitar swing one half inch from the end of mine as we ducked each other and shared a microphone trying to further illustrate the soul of togetherness as opposed to being alone. In Valencia they get that. 

Up in the front Fans/Friends from Madrid sprayed beer in the air and danced with their shirts off. They are now against all other bands except ours. :) They declared this after bum-rushing the center microphone. I love you :) 

Al Tapas and I stayed up all night and caught the 7am flight up to Bilbao. Amazing sunrise over the left silver wing. Vamos. 

BILBAO-BASQUE COUNTRY- I dunno? Bilbao might be in my top 3 all time favorite places to play RnR. Such spirit, northern soul. We shared the bill tonight w another wicked good American band called Cracker. The hall was jammed w amazing people the vibe was spectacular and hard earned. Through the years we have set a pretty high bar for ourselves here. 

Last night it was great fun trying to jump over it. I'd say we did. Encored w "Angels of Destruction!" then we watched Cracker sing their very woody Guthrie-esque "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and the Marah took a million camera phone photos with the local RnR fans. Gracias amigos! See you this Fall. We missed you so much. 

TONIGHT BARCELONA!! Being so far between records;) and considering having just played BCN this past October we decided to try something a bit different this time, a small RNR bar in a dodgy, un-touristy neighborhood... Fuck yes! Tonight we will rock the shit out of a place called Marula Cafe-49 Escudellers 08002 Barcelona. 9PM! 
It will be tight and sweaty and soulful and it will also be our best performance of our entire lives, ES De Noche ES la Noche. 

Get to Barcelona, find this club. Get inside: fuck fake Rock n Roll, be with us now. 

XOXO 

Soon we go take the kiddos fishing again and MARAH will begin making the best album that we ever will or have....soon we will also blow Philadelphia all apart at Hall and Oates HoagieNation Fest! 

More summertime show announcements coming soon. Travel safe everybody. Remember to de-tune your guitars on the planes. 

If you are waiting on the OldSchoolMarahWAWA tee-shirt, no fear! (and thanks for the letters) loads more of these are shipping out this week. 

Thank you for supporting Independent, American Rock n Roll. -DB

Set Theatre, Kilkenny, Ireland 

Much longer, stronger, amazing audience. EAST, FREEDOM PARK, RESERVATION GIRL, Chuck Berry's C'MON, FARAWAY YOU in the crowd... Opened with Night Time! Wilderness with the bagpipes at the end for fook's sake. 

Sweat blood, band is returning to fine form. Up, Up, Up from here. 

Missed our flight to the UK. Fuck it, we will catch the later flight. By tonight we will be in Newcastle, England. Tomorrow night we will blow the blue fuck out of the Cluny. If you can get yourself into that room, you should. 

Thanks Kilkenny, Ireland! Holy Crap, beautiful town, amazing people. 

Rock N Roll music. Can't think of anything better right now.

Dispatch from Kilkenny 




Rock N Rollas, 

We began last night in Alice Kyteler's upstairs stone ballroom in Kilkenny, William Outlaw was smiling in the back of the room. 
Petranilla  had vanished, poof. 

Tonight MARAH will perform @ the beautiful SetTheatre in the beating heart of KILKENNY, TONIGHT we will finally get to stretch out and really let go. We intend to blow that very pretty room to bits...we are so happy to be here with so many amazing Irish music fans. Walking home at 1am the cobblestone streets were crawling and writhing and screaming. It would be impossible to even imagine the amount of pints that died like dogs here last night. Billions. Trillions... 

Tomorrow we set sail for the UK....NEWCASTLE (May 2) NOTTINGHAM (May 3) and finally LONDON (May 4th) You should see our RnR band play. Right now. 

Beyond that is España and the beautiful Basque Country where our band has always truly felt at HOME. XOXO 

Life is way too fucked up & short to tolerate bullshit music. 
So fuck the lot of em. 
Be with us now.

Unedited Classic Rock Magazine Interview with Marah's David Bielanko 




Marah Q&A 

PW: For a while there, Marah were a band of brothers and then Serge left, how did that feel and what brought him back? 

DB: When we parted ways in 2008 right as we were releasing our record "Angels of Destruction!"... all of us did, this whole line-up, we scattered to the four winds, i was sad as fuck about it all for a real long time too ...but I unequivocally felt my brothers absence the most in the long run, serge and I grew up playing tennis racquets together, jumping up and down on a broke ass bed to scratchy, yard sale, Kiss records. Our musical partnership goes way back there. 

My brother is a Sagittarius. So he is essentially a horse, born to charge towards an imagined and idealized dot on the horizon, a fictional spot...to chase the wind I guess?... but the Sagittarius is also cursed with the brain of a man that never sleeps...can't be tuned out or turned off. It's kind of a bad situation, I cant lie about that...i sympathize. Everything is a struggle. It is certainly not a criticism, I wouldn't trade his talent for a more agreeable traveling companion or anything...but it takes some doing. 
I am a Gemini and I can split myself in two to chase art....so it's easier for me in many ways. 

Anyway, it felt fucking amazing to be able to offer him a 2&1/2 hour break from the chaotic bullshit that is day to day life in the form of a Rock n Roll show again. 
To stand on stage again (where despite the greatly accelerated heartbeats and dripping sweat and it being as loud as an airplane taking off) it was actually the most tranquil and peaceful spot that we had stood in years. In YEARS! Complete control. The return of order in the universe. We all felt that. 

....and then to feel the purpose of our brotherhood return again, to watch the old instincts burst back to life (the timing, the drama, the show biz, the sense of humor) My brother has one of the strangest and rarest talents, it's all feeling and minimal technique, more akin to LouReed or ChuckBerry, it's raw nerves and exists only from one second to the next. It bounces off what i do extremly well....but It's a pretty difficult color to manage in the painters pallet so to speak, so as a "band leader" I've been working hard on that aspect of the job this time around. I call it "special teams". All the stuff that happens when we are NOTon stage. 
Keeping THIS band TOGETHER is my real gig. Pushing people towards their strengths. Keeping the goals visable and obtainable. 

PW: And how did it feel in that first rehearsal with what I consider the ‘classic’ line-up and then that first show, what was it like to look around and be there together as that band? 

DB: I ain't lying when I tell you this is a great Rock n Roll band.  I know stuff about music. 
It's a very mysterious part of the human subconscious where the music must lay dormant when it's not being played? but it remains there somehow, unharmed and asleep. 
We rehearse in an old church with 60foot ceilings out in the country now.  One by one we called the song titles out for the first time in years and one by one we knocked em down....we laughed at the perfect simplicity of some of the songs, marveled at the effectiveness and economy of others...the songs do so much of the work now, so very much went into em over the years and we are the people who made them and the only people who can bring them exploding back to life on demand. It felt fantastic. Important even. The right people. It felt valuable and worth saving. 
AdamGarbinski, DavidPetersen and SloMo are enormous talents, They also are the greatest 3 people on earth to play with and understand me and my brother, our personal dynamic and our songs. 
Our first few gigs back together were ALL joy, All love, every single person in those rooms was moved by (and recognized themselves in) what was going down up there on the stage. Blood/soul/friendship/songs/RnR. 

PW: Since reforming you’ve started making inroads into America and Spain to great acclaim, were you surprised by the response? 

DB: Honestly, up till now I haven't really had much time to notice. I felt the love for sure... but i was busy watching the band, I was closing my eyes and watching the lyrics flash by, I was happy and proud, but up till now I've only just sorta basked in the unreal-ness of it all. 
A lot of times it has felt like dreaming. A nice dream. 

PW: It’s been literally years since you played the UK, what are you most looking 
forward to now that you’re coming back? 

DB: I miss so much about London. So i am anticipating this return as marking a new beginning of sorts, one where our band doesn't have to be such strangers anymore. I miss London at Christmas time. I miss walking home through it at 3am. 

PW: You once played a gig with uber Marah fan Nick Hornby, will he be getting up for the encore? 

DB: I miss Nick a lot too, he is a great friend, I will write an email to him soon about this gig but... how much you wanna bet he is away in LA that weekend?...or Philadelphia!!, that's just how shit always works out. I will say that those original essays about Rock N Roll that Nick wrote for the Hornby/Marah shows we did together remain some of the very best writing about Rock n Roll music that I have ever encountered; the Clash one about inventing "punk", the Faces one about being "drunk and alone" for the first time, the "Bob Marley subway" one, all of em. Brilliant writing. More people should hear them.... This year I'm  hoping Nick might wanna make an HBO special outta that gig, book a nice room in a cool city w a chandelier and roll cameras on it, we always thought that that gig would make for some pretty excellent television. Posterity and whatnot. 

PW: Talking of fans, have Stephen King or Springsteen been in touch since you got the band back together? 

DB: Yes, both King and Springsteen have been in touch asking my brother and i to write their new novel/album for them respectively. I can't speak for Serge but I've quit picking up the phone. 
And i love those guys too...it's complicated. 

PW: It’s argued, by me among many others, that you fused the best parts of the E Street Band and The Faces, but you took a new musical turn with the Friday Night Gods, what happened, too much budget, too much booze? 

DB: Well....Yes:)....plus 9-11 had just happened....and the world suddenly started to feel like it was drowning in confusion and capitalism and inequality and lies, we had also just made 2 critically acclaimed albums in a rented south Philly garage on our own dime and had given em away to record labels and suddenly couldn't even pay our own rent. We were also gigging 6 nights a week at that point too. Sweating buckets to barely connect the dots. 
Then all of a sudden a smiling Danny Goldberg (who might I remind you was instrumental in the careers of Nirvana and Led fucking Zepplin) pulled up in a money truck and tossed us the keys and told us to just "go nuts"... 
We said "really?" 
And he said "yup" and walked away. 
What the FUCK did anyone think was gonna happen?:) 
Our single mom was a babysitter. In high-school we wore the fake Chuck Taylor's.... 
So we bought airplane tickets to a pub in Wales to meet up with the great Owen Morris. We also bought some ecstasy (to take the edge off the George W Bush speeches) and we sat around and celebrated ourselves for about 5 months... It was a complicated but magical time and I am proud of any small role Marah might have played in the death of the "old music industry" btw. It was probably time anyway? We definitely spent enough money that we coulda bought some Patriot missiles of our own. Maybe we should have? Maybe everyone should just be glad we didn't?? I think the song "Float Away" is one of the best songs I've ever written. We opened our Christmas show in Philadelphia this year with it, it sounded like a hymn from the 1600's. 
 
PW: Life Is A Problem was the first (and only?) Marah album without Serge, how do you look back at that album now? How did it feel recording without him? 

DB: I love that record very much... but it was a rough spot for me, blue, the blues. Keep going was the idea. I guess i will always miss my band when they are not around. 

PW: Your original London shows – Borderline, Dingwalls – are the stuff of legends (get off the bar!), how will you recapture that youthful zeal? 

DB: Well the lights will go down and our intro music will begin, the bagpipes will play and our blood will rise and we will just walk the fuck out there and do it. The shows we are playing right now are the most soulful and musical gigs we've ever done. Very rock n roll. I've been to every Marah gig that's ever been played too. These are great ones. Proud. 

PW: And there are rumours of new Marah music sometime this year, any news on that? 

DB: This Spring we said yes to playing an amazing little music festival in Kilkenny Ireland, so we rang up Dingwalls in London just because we'd be so close....what I mean to say is we are NOT "touring", we are playing just a little bit to continue to build our bands chemistry back up...and to re-connect with some very amazing and hard earned music fans. But the truth is I will not feel like we have fully "resurrected" Marah until we make and release a new and truly amazing album ...so yes, that is where our thoughts currently are. It is ALL I personally think about. By the time anybody reads this I believe we will have begun, so that's exciting. Our old producer Paul Smith (Kids In Philly, Let's Cut The Crap...) has been hanging around too!! so fingers crossed. I very much feel that we might have something valuable to contribute to 2017. I think we will.

LONDON-MARAH-DINGWALLS-THURSDAY MAY 4-CAMDENTOWN  


We are extremely  proud of the fact that we are currently playing better Rock N Roll shows then we ever have before. Write it down. This Spring our band was offered a really fun and fast trip to Ireland to play a festival there (Kilkenny! Buy tickets now!) and then we just figured we'd stay on and play London again too. The old neighborhood. 
It is time. 

MARAH are making a new 2017 album. We are playing live shows just enough to keep the band vital and rocking during that time. London is no doubt one of our very favorite cities on Earth. So we ain't really fucking around with this one. 

MAY 4th. Act fast and consider buying a slightly more expensive and limited VIP ticket that includes free pints at the band's 6pm (happy hour) soundcheck/meet & greet, a limited edition MARAH/LONDON autographed poster, spend an hour or so after soundcheck hanging out w the band (give us the books you've written, the albums you've made) let's have a drink, take camera phone pictures and catch up.

We've missed you. 

Over the last bunch of years we have received many hundreds of emails from folks in the UK asking us to return to London so PLEASE share this FB invitation w your rock n roller friends and lets have a night out. NO OPENING BANDS (we fought hard to make it that way) We are planning an epic and comprehensive RnR show. 

We will take the stage on time and play until we drop. 

Buying the VIP tickets is the easiest way to make ambitious shows like this one physically happen. SO THANK YOU. It pays for the very expensive rental amps and drum kits, it buys hotel rooms and airplane tickets, petrol, van drivers and electric guitar strings. That said, we will work our asses off to make it worth your while. 

Come and see our Rock N Roll band play in one of the most important 
Rock N Roll cities of all time. Halle-fuckin-lujah. Still alive.

KILKENNY ROOTS FESTIVAL/Kilkenny, IRE. 

 

Memories are funny things... I remember the elevator closing, the sun was full up by then, everyone had Guinness pints; Slo-Mo had four pints by pressing them against his chest with his forearm and was somehow still managing them. There were maybe 30 people on the elevator? 35? We pushed every button. It was smokey and hard to see, a singing man went down peacefully in the corner of the small box, he was out, nobody knew who he was. No matter. We were gonna continue the party upstairs maybe? 

Downstairs (the night before?) was the afterparty. Trays and trays of pints flowed like tides from behind a desk and through a secret door. Spider from the Pogues was there playing tin whistle at the small bar. I wish I was lying. There was a stand-up bass and at one point the whole party was singing The Faces "Ohh La La". 

This is how I became acquainted with Ireland. 

Later my brother Serge and I would return to this town (Kilkenny) and spend at least a month living in a small room above a pub down the road. We were given a key. Enchanted? Perhaps. 

You tell me. 

What I'm saying is this: If you are anywhere in Europe (or the USA for that matter) and have the means to get to Killkenny for the weekend of April 29/30 you could do a lot worse. Marah will play two full band RnR shows, many other amazing musical acts will be on hand to perform. Music is everywhere then and the spirit of the thing is inclusive and intimate and rare. The walls come down and this one really is a "festival", a celebration of the great people who put it together and the great people they think to include, to invite around. Obviously, it's an honor to be asked, but it's also an amazing opportunity for us to selfishly watch some complete strangers literally have the best time of their lives and get a lot more then they bargained for or could have ever really imagined. 

It's all very Irish, very RnR and very, very good. 

OK, You've been pitched. 

Can't wait for this one....DB

Photo: Marko Korkeakoski

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