Stereo Embers The Podcast: Marcellus Hall (Railroad Jerk, White Hassle)

Written by on 02/07/2024

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“I Will Never Let You Down”

Marcellus Hall has been doing so much, his resume it’ll make you look at your resume and think What have I been doing? Let’s back up: The Minnesota-born Marcellus Hall went to the Rhode Island school of design then moved to New York after graduating to form the band Railroad Jerk. Railroad Jerk put out four perfect albums for Matador, thought they recorded a fifth called Masterpiecemeal, that didn’t come out but is available now on Bandcamp. After the band broke up, Hall formed White Hassle with Railroad Jerk’s Dave Varenka, who were awesome and they put out a handful of brilliant albums like National Chain and Death of Song. After White Hassle called it a day in 2006, Hall put out phenomenal solo albums like The First Line, Afterglow and now his new one I Will Never Let You Down. But what about those ten years? You’re probably still wondering. He’s been illustrating. As an illustrator, Hall’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Fortune and he’s done several New Yorker covers. He did the weekly comic strip Bill Dogbreath that appeared in The Onion and Baltimore City paper, among others, and he illustrated books–lots of them, like Sherry North’s Because You Are My Baby, Lee Bennet Hopkins’ City I Love and Karma Wilson’s The Cow Loves cookies. Keep in mind, this is a partial list. Another partial list: books that Hall wrote and illustrated, like Kaleidoscope City, Everyone Sleeps, Virtual Reality, and Multiplicity. As for his new album, it’s a stunner. A breezy blend melodic muscle and musical finesse, this is an instant classic. Hall plays with a kind of freewheeling precision, and his songs are the kinds of songs you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Trust me. Have I ever let you down? Okay, maybe once or twice, but Marcellus Hall will never let you down. ( ( ( (

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