Marlon Hoffman is a multi-faceted, Southern California-based, singer/songwriter keeping the music alive with his friends and his guitar. His never-ending musical path has taken him all over this world: in Recovery, the Arts, and live performances of all kinds, just about everywhere.
Why did he name his group the Marlon Hoffman Band? “‘I’d been in bands since I was 12,” Hoffman told Hipland.com in a recent interview. “I put my name out front because I was tired of bands breaking up. I knew if I had it this way, it would keep a-goin’, as long as I kept a-goin’. And it’s all still a-goin’, strong and furious!’
The Marlon Hoffman Band has magic and the players are pros. Journeyman John O’Kennedy (strings) accompanies Marlon on guitar and arrangements. Jody Daley (bass) and John Poli (drums) have extensive touring history, as does Martin Flores (percussion) who is a Music Producer as well. John Harjo on keyboards is a well-traveled veteran of Los Angeles musical history. Background singers Kimzey McGrath, Jessica Garcia and Angel Levine also have their own gigs and branch out all year long. This lineup kicks butt and take no prisoners!
“I am very proud of our two albums, Le Happy: Live At The Village (and) La Paix: Live At The Village, Vol. II, bothrecorded in Studio D at the Village Recorder and engineered by Grammy award winner, Jeff Gartenbaum,” says Hoffman. “We’re presently recording the third MHB album at Kenrose Studios in Calabasas. All in all it’s a great fun and the music keeps coming.”
“The present moment is wonderful,” Hoffman adds, as he sits behind the sound board at his studio in Calabasas, Calif. “Two new friends I’ve bonded with are Bernard Fowler (Rolling Stones’ touring vocalist for many years) and Davey Johnstone (long-time Elton John collaborator). Bernard and I are in textual touch and he has made me promise he could oversee the vocal production for my next album, while Davey will be a guest guitarist on a number of the tunes and he generously has been keeping his ears open to the album’s beginning. Bernard will be directing vocal production and Davey will be contributing guitar tracks as well having eyes and ears on my project. I’m in good hands, to say the least.”
Hoffman has eleven full-length concerts posted to Alerttheglobe.com, where, incidentally, Hoffman first met both the aforementioned Fowler and Johnstone. His current incarnation of the Marlon Hoffman Band, he says, “is stellar….all-pro and the energy and cacophony we’ve created is intoxicating. I’m a satisfied man. The lineup: John O’Kennedy on Guitar and other strings; Jody Daley-Lovett on Bass; Jon Poli on Drums; John Harjo on Piano; Martin Flores on Percussion; and Jessica Garcia, Angel Levine and Kimzey McGrath on Background Vocals.” The MHB has
performed at, among other venues, the Saban, The Canyon Club and some local (LA) festivals, in addition to sharing the stage with the likes of Johnny Rivers, Ambrosia and The Guess Who.
Marlon Hoffman – Some Background
Marlon Hoffman’s long, winding, and impressive musical path goes something like this: Big Mama Thornton spent seven weeks at Number One with “Hound Dog” in 1953, the year Marlon was born. His dad heard Elvis sing it in 1956 and went on to sing it to young Marlon, over and over again, drilling it into both Marlon’s heart and head. The young Hoffman was raised on the music of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Patti Page, Harry Belafonte, Burl Ives and Fess Parker; by the time he was ten, Marlon was already strongly influenced by groups and artists like the Four Seasons, Leonard Bernstein, The Beach Boys, Chubby Checker, and The Beatles. Then, with a set of drums…his path was full on Rock and Roll!
By the age of twelve Marlon was playing songs by the Yardbirds and the Kinks, which came in handy, circa 1968 — Marlon’s fourteenth year on Planet Earth, and the year of the last Yardbirds tour when he met Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page — who had Marlon carry his guitar to the legendary British band’s gig at The Image on Miami Beach. From a folding chair on stage, Marlon got to see and feel the power and magic of live music up close, and he was hooked. From that point forward, Hoffman immersed himself in the power and magic of countless concerts and gigs dedicating his eyes and ears to amps, guitars and songwriting, crafted under the influence of from collaborations with artists like McClinton Rayford, Dave Von Ronk and Kinky Friedman (the latter for whom he played drums as part of Friedman’s famed ‘Rolling Thunder’ review). Marlon worked the First Aid Station at rock concerts during the Woodstock Generation, which in turn, led to the wonderful perk of meeting late Beatle George Harrison backstage at the Concert for Bangladesh.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles Hoffman played the streets and clubs of St. Louis, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, sharing stages with the likes of the Gun Club, Split Enz, Kink Friedman, The Busboys, and David Gray.
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