February 6, 2018 in Press

Red Line Roots: The Marshall Pass Takes On Petty

We lost a lot in 2017. Perhaps one of the biggest losses to the world of art was that of Tom Petty. I’ll spare you all the words on how much he meant to the vast majority of us all…because you already know.

With that loss came a whole slew of new takes on covers of everything from his biggest hits to rarer B-sides. Craig Rawding and Duncan Arsenault didn’t go for the low hanging fruit here with their own rendition of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” or “American Girl”, instead choosing tracks that are seemingly missing from all the “top Petty tracks” listings that poured out following his passing.

When I first heard The Marshall Pass there was a lot of emotion going on inside me. Their 2012 release was a “somber, sorrowful sounding record with so many colors and deep levels to it.” and they really manage to continue that vibe and feel to these two tributes. The layering of instrumentation and vocals crafts a soft and pillowed palette of sound that engulfs you in a comforting, but melancholy, sort of a way. There is a sadness that is, at the same time, sweet and pure in how it can evoke and pull feelings from your chest.

They have injected themselves into these songs and came out on the other side with something that is much more than a cover of a Tom Petty song, but a beautiful tribute to an artist the two musicians so obviously loved and appreciated. Where we are seeing so many tributes to our fallen hero these days that merely try and mimic the genius of this man, its a wonderful thing to have something fresh and compassionately felt by these two artists. Well worth your time, so give it a few streams below.

(Originally Published 1/2/18)

Covering Up: The Marshall Pass Takes On Petty

February 3, 2018 in Press

Telegram: What You’re Listening Too

Angel Dream’ and ‘No Second Thoughts,’ by the Marshall Pass

If you caught the recent extravaganza tribute to the late Tom Petty at Vincent’s, you had a chance to see some of the area’s most remarkable musicians tackling a wide range of the legendary songwriter’s immense songbook. If you’re looking for a little bit more in that vein, you may want to check out the Marshall Pass’ covers of the Petty deep cuts, “Angel Dream” and “No Second Thoughts.”

The songs are sung by Craig Rawding and played by Duncan Arsenault, with backing vocals on the former by Annie Arsenault and Keri Anderson, and both recordings are exquisite. Rawding and Duncan Arsenault are able to build a rich soulfulness, capturing the layers of depth inherent in the songs. They’re moody and beautiful, and as fine a tribute to the music icon as any packed house.

If you want to hear more from these artists, Duncan Arsenault will perform Wednesday at Vincent’s, and he and Rawding will perform with the Curtis Mayflower Jan. 19 at Bull Mansion.

(Originally published 1/11/18)



January 2, 2018 in News

The Marshall Pass covers Tom Petty

Angel Dream from Tom Petty’s amazing soundtrack to the film She’s The One was the first song I thought of when The Marshall Pass was asked to perform at a tribute concert to Tom Petty at the Columbus Theater in Providence RI. It has always been one of my favorite songs of his. No Second Thoughts off of the Heartbreakers second album You’re Gonna Get It is a another favorite. We hope you enjoy our take on these two songs. We performed them with a lot of love for Tom Petty and his music and we are deeply saddened by the loss of this incredible musician. Thank you Tom, and thank you all for listening. – Duncan

April 25, 2017 in News

Live Broadcast from Vincent’s on May 2

Our last attempt at a live broadcast from Vincent’s got snowed out. We’re going to try again on May 2nd with The Marshall Pass and The Deborah Mcdonnell Band at Vincent’s Worcester. The show is free and it starts early, so please come out and hear it in person. If you can’t make it, it will be broadcast live on 91.3FM in Worcester and streaming from www.wcuw.org

May 11, 2016 in News

Music Sunday Concert – May 22, 2016

Music Sunday May 2016-144

A family-friendly concert featuring The Marshall Pass, Emily Rose on harp, Anne Arsenault on piano, and the Hadwen Park Choir. Free lunch offered beforehand, as well as our annual Music Sunday service, designed around our love and gratitude for the power of music.

May 22, 2016 12PM
Hadwen Park Congregational Church
Clover St., Worcester MA

April 30, 2015 in Press

Track of the Week at Redline Roots

(via www.redlineroots.com)

You can head over to Duncan Arsenault’s musical bloggings page to read up on the whole story behind this song, but fair warning, I broke down into tears and sobbed like a baby when I did. Hint: its about his dead dog. Dude, you just ripped my heart out.

Featuring a slew of his super talented pals (including Jeremy and Brooks from the super groovy The Curtis Mayflower), this is a great tune with a lot of heart and that Springsteen-esque hollow harmonica thing going on. It adds to the sense of yearning and longing for something lost.

Textures and building is all I can say. Picking of the dobro, the keys, the vocals and harmonies. Its just a giant, wonderful, pile of excellently recorded and played parts.

Very cool stuff here. The song very successfully represents this space inbetween emotions. Bittersweet. You can’t really call it a sad song or a happy song, it just kind of is there for the consumption. And consume I shall.

Cheers to Duncan Arsenault for pulling this tune together. Great stuff as always.

Thank you Redline Roots! – Duncan and Craig

April 12, 2015 in Press

Song to Get You Through the Week – Maggie

The most unconventional thing about the Marshall Pass’s new single, “Maggie,” may be the simplest: It’s about a mother coming home. You’d think that wouldn’t be a big deal, but there it is: One’s hard-pressed to think of any other songs that revolve around the idea of a mother returning to her husband and child after an absence.

There are tons of “I’m” coming home, and “he’s” coming home, and lots and lots of “she’s leaving” (although those are usually wives or lovers, and I can’t think of any identified explicitly as mothers, although there’s probably some country song out there that fits the bill).


No, it’s an odd little detail, but it sticks with you once you notice. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen her smile,” sings vocalist Craig Rawding, in a gentle, wistful voice that whispers to absence but not necessarily trauma. “It’s been so long since I’ve walked a moonlit mile with my baby/She’s coming home where she belongs.”

The song is at least partially addressed to a child, which would temper any negativity, but the gentleness in the tone seems to imply that it’s not a case of the persona’s wife leaving him over relationship issues. Has she been hospitalized? Was she deployed to Afghanistan? Was she on a business trip to Pacoima? We don’t know, and that’s kind of awesome.

Here’s the thing: Mothers in most songs don’t leave. They may DIE, but they never go anywhere. They’re waiting at home while their significant others come back from the war, or the bar, or work. That this doesn’t really jibe with reality is beside the point. This woman’s story is a mystery, but in one small little stroke, the Marshall Pass has informed the listener that she HAS one.

As for the rest, it’s a pretty little song. The band — which comprises Rawding on vocals and harmonica, Duncan Arsenault on guitar, Brooks Milgate on piano, Jeremy Moses Curtis on upright bass, Roger Lavallee on electric guitar and Annie Arsenault on accompanying vocals — brings a lot of firepower to create something so delicate. Each contribution to the song is small, almost understated, and the result is just lovely. Everything plays well together: It all melds to a gorgeous little clockwork, one that pulses with a genuine sense of wistfulness, absence and love.

As with the song’s very premise, the band makes use of small things to create something far more substantial than it seems at first glance.

Email Victor D. Infante at Victor.Infante@Telegram.com and follow him on Twitter @ocvictor.

via: http://www.telegram.com/article/20150412/COLUMN86/304129941/

April 5, 2015 in News

New Music “Maggie” Available Now!

The new single “Maggie” is available now. Craig and Duncan had a few talented friends join them on the recording of this one. Jeremy Moses Curtis on the upright bass, Brooks Milgate on piano, Roger Lavallee on electric guitar and Annie Arsenault on backing vocals. We wanted to release this song on this day to commemorate the passing of our dear friend Scott Ricciuti. We hope that you enjoy it, thank you for listening.


May 26, 2014 in Press

Farce The Music reviews Phantom Train

“Phantom Train recalls the lush textures of early Sun Kil Moon and the bluesy vocals of the Allman Brothers. Pass’ sound is a warm mix of folk, rock and blues with an authentic twang that would make one think these guys hail from central Georgia, rather than Massachusetts. Everything about the EP sounds organic and unforced.” www.farcethemusic.com/2013/02/album-review-marshall-pass-phantom-train.html

October 22, 2013 in Press

Foxbeard Music on Phantom Train

The Marshall Pass - Phantom Train

Via: foxbeard.com/marshall-pass-phantom-train/

The Marshall Pass is based out of Worcester, a small city in central Massachusetts. Written and performed solely in a home studio, their albumPhantom Train is packed full of authenticity and realism. A seven song tribute to the passing of fellow band member Scott Ricciuti, and a very worthy tribute it is.

Modern-folk with plenty of Appalachian and Western sounds to send you back in time. Song after song Phantom Train blasts through an Americana landscape flooded with emotions of loss, and heartache. Even with such powerful imagery the album employs, it’s hard to believe these songs have never been played live.

Q&A: What’s the story behind Phantom Train?

I was writing instrumental songs to contribute to Scott Ricciuti. We had a band called Pistol Whipped I played drums in. The songs that would become Abilene and Stranded In Perdition were instrumentals that I gave to Scott to do with what he wanted. In April of 2012 Scott died in a car accident. This was devastating to me and many others, including Craig Rawding. Craig was at my house shortly after and I played him these instrumentals. He asked if he could take them and came back shortly after with the lyrics and melodies. From that point on we started using this method of songwriting and wrote the rest of the album this same way. I would write the music and when it was nearly done, I would send it to Craig. It was a way for us to grieve and pay our respect to Scott.

How long did it take you and Craig to put this album together?

Duncan: Throughout the summer and fall of 2012 we wrote and recorded these songs in my home studio. We live a few miles apart and would get together for a few hours here and there with no clear goal beyond making the music. It was good therapy. After we had about five songs, we started talking about releasing it and giving it a name. Around this time I was reading some American Folklore and came across the story of the Phantom Train of Marshall Pass. I shared this story with Craig and we felt the name suited the music.

Any plans on performing Phantom Train live?

We just booked our first performance in our hometown at the Worcester Art Museum on November 10. We’re having Jon Short and Jeff Burch play with us to round out the sound. Jon, Jeff and I play in a band called Big Eyed Rabbit and Jeff was the bassist in Pistol Whipped.

Every song on the album is great, but what songs really stand out to you and why?

Thank you. I wrote these songs without melodies or lyrics in mind and because of that I am always fascinated with how they were transformed by Craig’s vocals. When he came to sing Blue And Gray the first time, I never imagined it sounding that way. Now I can’t imagine it any other way, but I remember feeling incredibly fortunate to be working with him. I feel that way still.

Anything planned for the future? 
Craig and I are in a band called The Curtis Mayflower who are releasing their first two albums in early 2014 so we will be busy with that. I have a handful of demos that we are working with, and plan on recording and releasing a new The Marshall Pass album in 2014.