Appalachian Mountains), punk-folk troubadour J Marinelli has taken the do-it-yourself idea to its
furthest extreme. That is to say, he’s his own band; nigh on a decade ago (inspired by the oneman
madness of fellow West Virginian Hasil Adkins, among some other O.G. monobanda-style
badassery) our boy abandoned the notion of a backing band, and decided to do the dirty deed
his damn self.
Thus: a booted right toe booms the big bass drum while the right heel keeps time on his humble
hi-hat. His left foot snaps a snare, while his veined and gnarled hands grapple and grip the wellworn
neck of a sturdy silverflake six-string -- sometimes striking a cymbal between syncopated
strums. He tops this well-edited götterdämmerung with a crackling croon of a voice that recalls
the forgotten apex of every aging lo-fi junkie’s vinyl collection (for you trainspotting music nerdtypes,
the Fall, Billy Childish, the Urinals, and Guided by Voices seem to be popular points
of comparison, but you didn’t hear that from me).
The end result is a swirling, sweaty, self-contained cauldron of sound and motion. A sound at
once familiar and strange: texture and tumult, punk and folk, sweetness and skronk, avantgarde
and avant-garage. By the end of the set, you’re as exhausted and exhilarated as he is –
eyes bulging and red, hair matted with perspiration, mind aglow with the possibilities of what a
West Virginia boy can do if he puts his mind, heart, and back to it. Furthermore, after bringing
his one-man roots-punk juggernaut to the endless sprawl of his home country, Marinelli has
recently completed two highly successful tours of Europe -- charming audiences in Austria, the
Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.