Redlands band All Marbles—yep, another Redlands group; it’s practically Seattle circa 1989 over there—are great by association, since they hang out with such worthy IE aural notables as Bad News for the Toros, Hobo Jazz and Bucksworth (on whose MySpace friends page we found them). They fashion themselves as an “evolved Moby Grape,” but we’re not sure about that. Though it’s good they’re sonically intelligent enough to know who Moby Grape was, to us, their sound is more akin to the wonderfulness of the Drive-By Truckers: hints of jammy psychedelia here and there, but without the nasty patchouli afterstink; terrific character-driven tunes (“Santa Fe Jack,” “Bobby Custer”) you can dance to; and enough Southern-fried, slightly funky guitar noodling that would please rednecky old Skynyrd fans. Though they’d probably be bigger if they hailed from a hippie haven like Arcata, they’re good enough to where we could easily see All Marbles landing on the bill of next year’s Joshua Tree Music Fest—that crowd would drool over them (after they take the spliffs out of their mouths, of course).
Unfortunately the band doesn’t seem to be very active these days, suggesting that real life (Day jobs? Wives? Mistresses? Kids? Imprisonment? Rehab?) has derailed them. Hope it’s temporary—their last gig was in March at Lake Alice, their last blog entry was in June of ’05, though recent postings suggest a sighting in San Diego as recently as a couple weeks ago (these bands, they’re sometimes harder to track than a sasquatch). Till they play again, hit up their web site and watch their big orb change colors. Oo! Aah!
More info and sound clips at www.myspace.com/allmarbles and www.allmarbles.com.
Attention, Riverside/San Bernardino County bands and musicians (you too, Claremont, La Verne and Pomona)! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Band of the Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or be lazy and e-mail us your MySpace page link to firstname.lastname@example.org.