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Sweet blue messages

Marshall Okell likes his blues dirty and visceral, albeit laced with a sweet melancholy that carries the power to soothe the rawest soul. He plays at the Pacific Hotel this Saturday night. Image: Contributed.
Marshall Okell has long been a fixture on the Northern Rivers (and beyond) music scene, spreading his blues message and playing up to 200 shows a year. His “deep, raw, honest, dirty blues sound” his biography says “grabs you by the throat and then soothes you with a sweet honey-tasting musical medicine”. The judges agreed at the 2016 Dolphin Awards, naming Okell the best of the ‘Blues’ category for his song Carry On Carry On. One of the fruits of his usual enlistment of “fellow musicians and friends ‘The Hussy Hicks’ Leesa Gentz and Julz Parker, as well as band members Nicolas Lemits, Ben Cox and Tracy Stephens”, the song is evidence of what Okell describes as a period of “great, soulful, natural expression with no protection and a great team [with whom] to throw ideas around”. There’s a distinct evolution in his writing style and an obvious passion for his life, loves and ongoing social commentary – but the heart and gut-instinct remains: it’s this visceral intensity that makes the connection from performer to audience. Marshall Okell plays at the Pacific Hotel this Saturday night July 2.