Since their inception in 2012, the Spurs have kept a relentless schedule of recording, playing locally, and touring. After nearly 500 live appearances in almost a dozen countries, and with a slew of albums and singles to their name, Jenny Don’t and The Spurs are just getting warmed up.
The Spurs were founded one cold, winter’s evening by Jenny and Kelly. Jenny had been fronting her own band, DON’T, for some time, as well as playing the occasional solo acoustic set here and there. Kelly, who had been in a slew of Portland punk bands since the 80’s, and who had spent the previous several years balancing a grueling touring schedule playing drums with the garage rock trio PIERCED ARROWS and bass with Portland punk-rock destroyers P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., and wanted to switch gears a bit. After the concept of forming a raw, real, and back-to-the-roots country band had taken hold, it wasn’t long before the couple was rehearsing a seminal set of standards by such influential early country crooners and outlaws like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, and Hank Sr., as well as a sprinkling of originals. It was only a few weeks later that Kelly’s bandmates Fred and Toody Cole got wind of the developing musical project that was taking form in Jenny and Kelly’s kitchen and decided to call their bluff by giving them an unsolicited support slot on an upcoming show featuring the Cole’s own solo two-piece act. Not having anticipated such a high-profile live appearance as a first live outing, and feeling like the guitar-and-bass-only lineup that the band had started life as was lacking something on the rhythm end of things, they decided to ask their friend Sam Henry to join them on drums. Sam, who in addition to being Jenny’s bandmate in DON’T and sometimes solo-set-collaborator, had already had a long, well-respected career as one of Portland’s best drummers, having played with such first-generation punk bands as the Wipers, The Rats and Napalm Beach. After a couple of weeks of practice, the debut live appearance of the band went off without a hitch and the core lineup of Jenny Don’t and The Spurs was born. The trio of Jenny, Kelly, and Sam existed in this form for the first year-an-a-half or so of the band’s existence, playing whatever local venue would take them – bars, clubs, porches, basements, backyards, and even a bookstore. This worked well for a while, and occasionally the Spurs would enlist talent from a pool of several friends to sit in on lead guitar or lap steel. The addition of a second guitar rounded out the sound of the band to the point where Jenny and Co. decided to make it a permanent part of the band’s lineup. After a couple of false starts and a bit of difficulty finding a fourth member who could commit to the Spur’s sometimes grueling touring schedule, the incredible Christopher March became a member of the family in early 2017. Christopher brought with him a wealth of talent and live gig experience, having spent years playing on the Northwest Country, Rockabilly, and Honky-Tonk circuit.
This lineup – Jenny, Kelly, Christopher, and Sam – formed the core of the group for several great years, solidifying the band’s sound and enabling them to tour extensively until January of 2022. It was at this point, while on their winter West coast tour in California, that Sam began experiencing abdominal pains. His discomfort increased to the point where the band had to cancel the last date of the tour in order to get Sam to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. This was devastating news for Sam, the band, and all of the people around the world that loved him, and when, only weeks later, Sam passed away after a brief battle with the disease, everyone was stunned. As saddened and lost as the remaining members of the band were, there was really no question as to whether the band would continue. Sam was truly dedicated to his art until the very end, and there was no way that he would have wanted the band to dissolve. He had dedicated his life to his music and the last ten years of his life to Jenny Don’t and The Spurs, and the surviving members of the band decided without reservation to keep Sam’s legacy alive by continuing to play. The trio has sense welcomed Buddy Weeks to the band and now with him they have been touring non stop. Buddy brings with him a great playing style and has a lot of touring experience under his belt. A perfect fit for being on the road!
With a decade of live appearances under their tooled-leather Western belts, the Spurs aren’t slowing down a bit. The Spurs are a musical force to be reckoned with, and the intensity and energy of their live set is a must-see for anyone who enjoys spirited garage-infused country music played with sincerity and raw conviction.
Most artists will tell you that they sing about what they feel. Jeshua Marshall lives the music that he sings. From the time he was nine, when he was first inspired by a visit from Jimi Hendrix in a dream and subsequently gifted his first guitar, through to the formation of his band Larry and His Flask and now, some 20 years later, music has been mainstay of his life, the thing that’s inspired him, driven him and now, brought him to the precipice of the recognition he so decidedly deserves. He’s worked tirelessly to get to this point. He and his band toured relentlessly, performing in all 50 states in the U.S., every providence in Canada, no less than 15 European countries, and in parts of the Middle East. A multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, he conveys both passion and purpose in equal measure, a culmination of the hopes and aspirations that first fueled him as child in a family that split their time between the upper realms of the States and the sprawling southern environs of British Columbia. With the anticipation for his second individual album, The Flood — a follow-up to his highly praised solo debut Shoot The Moon, released in the fall of 2021 — Jeshua is poised to make an indelible mark on the musical landscape in ways his fans and followers have long predicted. In so doing, he cites what he says was an exhilarating and exuberant experience, which he and the other musicians managed to capture live in only one or two takes. Co-produced by Jeshua and Todd Rosenberg, who also engineered, and recorded at FUZZ Phonic Studios in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, The Flood is scheduled for release September 22nd. Self-distributed via CEN/The Orchard, it features Jeshua on vocals and guitar, Seth Acquarolo on guitar and keyboards, Davey Hemm on bass, Todd Rosenberg on drums, Miguel Mendoza on trumpet, and Wendi Wampler on clarinet. The sounds run a gamut, from the brass-infused reggae of the aptly-titled “Swing” and the sway and saunter of “Agua Es Vida” (a duet sung in Spanish with guest vocalist Yanin Saavedra), to the sultry and sensual stride of “Wave,” the energized and upbeat “Closed Doors” and the sprightly sound of “Ride.” “Water,” the album’s first single, is a cover of a song written by Willy Tea Taylor about Taylor’s hometown of Knights Ferry, California, which is located in the central valley at the foothills of Yosemite. The song is about a rain event that was seemingly unrelenting at the time. “Knights Ferry is a very special place to me, a home away from home,” Jeshua explains. As a result, I fell in love with this song and learned it directly from Willy while I was touring through Scandinavia while playing bass for him in 2017.” Subsequently, the treatment took a decided turn once he shared it with the other musicians. “When I brought it to my band they completely rearranged it,” Jeshua recalls. “They accelerated the tempo and added the horn lines, which were written by my horn section consisting of Miguel Mendoza on trumpet and Wendi Wampler on clarinet. The rest of the band — Davey Hemm on bass, Seth Acquarolo on guitar and Todd Rosenberg on drums — changed up the rhythm by giving it more of a funky feel. This song is usually the only cover songs in the setlist and it’s one of my favorite songs to play live!” Big Takeover Magazine said of the song,”there is something of Hendrix’s influence on his deft soloing, a hint of the swagger and muscle of his earlier punk days and the same blend of poise and raw-edged vocals that tell of his folk-punk past.”
So too, certain songs take on special meaning. Jeshua describes the surreal “In a Dream” as “an ethereal experience, one that explores loss and longing in an appropriately dream-like state.” The ska sounding title track conveys what he calls “a message of unity, perseverance and sheer unfettered determination.”“Unbound” is as freewheeling and uplifting as its title implies, a song that, in Jeshua’s words, “taps into certain disparities and mental health issues through a sonic folk-punk lens.” Where Shoot The Moon was a collaborative effort — featuring Fredo Ortiz from Beastie Boys and Gogol Bordello and Pedro Erazo from Gogol Bordello — The Flood is the culmination of Jeshua’s desire to bring meaningful music to the world. The critics took note. The Texan Chronicles described him by saying, “Marshall is in a songwriting sphere all his own. His brilliant command of lyric structure is both off-kilter and genius." Americana Highways called his debut, “a twisting mixture of flavors served up in a deliciously edible cone, making this a complete sonic treat worth a front-to-back finish.” The Source Weekly concurred, declaring, "Marshall bares a lot on the record and dives deep into life—leaving us with thought-provoking lyrics to dwell on after they play by.” Jeshua’s muse came to him naturally early on. The sounds of rock and roll echoed from the car radio during rides to and from church, while the sounds associated with the folk music of his family’s native Canada was shared by his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents as they traversed the dirt roads of the Okanogan Valley. Nevertheless, like many youngsters raised in the strict confines of religious orthodoxy, Jeshua began to rebel against the staid confines of his conservative upbringing. He was drawn towards the secular sounds that were considered a form of heresy, and he fortified himself on the music that was smuggled into the house by his bold older brother, Jamin. By the time he was eleven, he had already immersed himself in the extreme ethos of pure punk, as expressed by such albums as Bad Religion’s Stranger Than Fiction, Rancid’s And Out Comes The Wolves and NOFX’s Heavy Petting Zoo. He found that all it took was three chords and a mix of grunge and distortion to find his way towards the truth and satisfaction he had sought for his own personal salvation. It was hardly surprising, then, that he took those lessons learned and formed his raucous and rebellious punk band Larry And His Flask with his brother Jamin at age 16. The band eventually gained fame for its fusion of reckless abandon and a certain folk-like finesse. They toured relentlessly until calling it quits in 2019, allowing Jeshua to channel his energies into a style that seemed better suited to the more measured and reflective songs that were quickly becoming part and parcel of his ever-expanding musical palette. His efforts paid off. He garnered over 100,000 streams on Spotify and YouTube, before receiving an ultimate honor, the ‘Best New Artist’ award from People's Choice Award in his hometown of Bend, Oregon. It also found him sharing stages with artists such as Dirtwire, Fishbone, Willy Tea Taylor, Beats Antique, Joshua Ray Walker, Possessed by Paul James, Danny Attack, Bridge City Sinners, and more. Now, on the verge of making the next significant step in his career, Jeshua remains more committed to his craft than ever. “Music, for me, is medicine, therapy and connection,” he says. With The Flood, that wave of inspiration is as awash as ever.