Situation Normal by Roger Marshall
"Situation Normal" was recorded at Ellamy Studios, engineered by Louis Bernstone. It has some songs written for the album and other earlier songs re-written. Three Candles for instance had been around for a while in previous tunes, as had title track Situation Normal. The 4-string tenor guitar appears on three songs: Woman in the Mist, Situation Normal and See you when I See You. Its strange tuning GDGD allows creativity! Louis not only engineered the recording but also adds flourishes on keyboards and bass. I asked Shimna Higgins to add violin which she has done beautifully - the outro the Shifting Sands is masterful. Also some backing vocals. My friend Stuart Grimshaw added brilliant bass on a couple of tracks and two drummers, Joel and Jono Sawyer and Adam Toebeck added drums, which I think is especially good on Lifeblood. The quality of the sound that Louis has captured is fantastic.
The military acronym SNAFU is obviously where "Situation Normal" comes from. I admit I am a generally pessimistic person, seeing the world in a mess, especially an environmental one. Lifeblood is about the catastrophe of the Aral Sea, but water - our lifeblood - is something to worry about. And Shifting Sands has a sense of dystopia. Other notes on the songs are here.
Shortly before recording my sister became sick and passed away. So the album is memory of my beautiful sister Hilary(1952-2016).
The art work of the cover is a painting by my son Jack Marshall. The original canvas, which is 120 by 105 cm hangs, in my front room.
Situation Normal won album of the month award at a US idie site Divide and Conquer Indie Music Their review here
Review by Amy Maynard in NZ Musician. "It is not often that you stumble upon an artist who makes you stop and listen, really listen openly and wholeheartedly to every word, every phrase and every breath. Roger Marshall's new album does just that, making Situation Normal anything but normal". Full review here
Reviewed by NZ Graham Reid of Elsewhere "..he has a voice and a vision which is all his own . . . These are sharp, observational and thoughtful songs of experience."
Play Situation Normal songs (notes above):
See You When I See You
Woman In The Mist
Talking To Myself
Last One Alive
Roger: vocals, guitars (acoustic, electric, 4-string tenor, slide), harmonica
Louis Bernstone: keyboards, bass
Shimna Higgins: violin, vocals Stuart Grimshaw: bass Jono Sawyer: drums Adam Toebeck: drums