When Marcus Malone delivered this remarkable LP into the hands of Ramrock Records boss, Jo Wallace, she had no idea what she was about to hear. But, as ‘Interstate 75’ unfolded, Jo realised that she had a future blues classic on her hands with an indefinable time scale – it could’ve been recorded in the mid 70s and feels like an instant crate diggers delight. Track after beautifully produced track tumbled out of the speakers and by the time Jo had finished listening, she went back to the beginning and listened again….and again…and again. It became immediately obvious that the musicians on ‘Interstate 75’ are outstanding – the sheer quality of musicianship is apparent from the first note. Take a bow, Marcus Malone and Dan Smith – you have created something exceptional. Craig Charles played ‘Can’t take the fight’ on his January ‘One to Watch in 2023 - Funk and Soul Show’ and said ‘if you don’t like this, you don’t deserve ears’.
Growing up in Detroit, Michigan meant that Marcus Malone has always been open to musical diversity. One time member of Mitch Rider’s ‘Detroit Wheels’, he hung out with the MC5, opened for Bog Seger and Iggy Pop before being moved to LA by Ike Turner’s management team and signed with United Artists Records. The result was the all-star hard rock 'Marcus' album, then signing with Motown Records in Los Angeles in an effort to produce an all black original rock band for the Motown Label. Marcus quickly made an impact by opening for BB King at the Albert Hall and he hit the Euro festival circuit in support of a brace of British label rock/blues solo albums. As a member of London's All Star Collective, Marcus has also worked with Maceo Parker, Joselyn Brown, Phillip Bailey and Nile Rodgers. A supreme vocal stylist who is equally at home singing blues/rock as he is soulfully phrasing heartfelt lyrics, Marcus’ 'Stand or Fall' LP brought him well deserved critical recognition, as he was justifiably nominated for Best Recorded Session 2014 by European Blues Awards. Marcus was nominated by the UK Blues Awards 2018 for Best Male Vocalist and by EU Blues awards for Best Vocalist and Best Album for ‘A Better Man’ in 2017.
Marcus and Dan first met at a blues jam night in the early ‘00s that Marcus had going on at The Fiddler and Firkin pub in Croydon before Dan eventually joined Marcus’s band and subsequently featured on his albums Walking Shoes from 2002 and Blue Radio from 2003 along with touring the clubs and festivals of the UK blues scene. After studying at The Brit School where he became friends with a very charismatic and stunning vocalist named Shingai Shoniwa and the two founded the internationally acclaimed group, The Noisettes which toured around UK, EU and the USA with the likes of Bloc Party and TV On The Radio, releasing their hit single ‘Don’t Upset The Rhythm’ in 2009 which got synched to a Mazda advert and armed with that bit of leverage they scaled the UK charts to claim the lofty Number 2 position. Dan has also co-written with the likes of Rita Ora, Jessy J, Olly Murs, Lucy Spraggan and Newton Faulkner.