Bob Marston’s musical journey began when as a child, he would sing songs written by his mother for his brother, sister, and himself, local sanitation workers, and whatever else they came across during their days. Bob’s older brother George began playing piano at age 4 and once he was old enough, Bob would sing the Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Berry, Cyndi Lauper, and Bob Seeger songs George played.
Through his teens, Bob had an on and off relationship with making music but continued to have a deep connection and explored a broad variety of styles and eras of music, from Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Robert Johnson, and John Hurt to Bob Dylan, Stax, Motown, the Meters and the Grateful Dead, all the way through to Blind Melon, Widespread Panic, Gillian Welch, the Roots, Jason Isbell, and the Wood Brothers, and such singer/songwriters as John Prine, Carole King, and Townes Van Zandt. While doing his student teaching on a military base in Germany, Bob bought a guitar and began learning songs. A few months later, while studying in Paris, Bob wrote his very first song, inspired by one of his favorites, Prine's "That's the Way the World Goes Round."
Over the next decade or so, Bob went about establishing himself as a singing/songwriting/working musician first in Jackson, MS and then back home in Birmingham, AL, playing throughout the Southeast in such renowned venues as the Nick Rocks, WorkPlay Theatre, the FloraBama, the Shack Up Inn, Hal & Mal’s, and Whitewater Tavern. Bob was hitting a great stride when the pandemic put a halt to all live performances.
In an unlikely turn of events, the suspension of live music ended up offering an unexpected opportunity, when the owner of Slag Heap Brewing Co. on the east side of Birmingham asked Bob to bring a full band to play an outdoor, distanced show to bring live music back to the brewery. It was a big success and led to Bob bringing the band back once a month, weather permitting. Playing with the full band allowed Bob to begin reimagining the styles and arrangements of his existing material. He also experienced a new creative wave in writing, as well. In November while in isolation during his case of Covid, Bob realized it was time to commit to his original music and decided to start recording a full-length album in January to be released early fall of 2021.
Riding the wave as far as it would take him, Bob continued to write and has now tracked a four-song EP to be released early summer, as well. Tours of the Southeast in support/pre-support of these releases are in the works. Be on the lookout for a show near you!
Bob also enjoys being outdoors especially hiking and backpacking. In fact, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, located near Bob’s house in the South Eastlake neighborhood of Birmingham, is one of his favorite places to be and has been where he’s found inspiration for and even fully written many of his songs.