Musician: Marshall McLean

Marshall McLean
Marshall McLean

When talent outstrips name recognition

written by Ben Salmon

“You have to really love the idea of the unknown,” Marshall McLean offered, “and trust that the chemistry and energy of the people you’re working with will be what it needs to be.”

The Spokane-based musician is discussing his excellent new album SoDak, but he could just as easily be talking about his career thus far. Just 31 years old, McLean has been a steady presence in the Northwest music scene for more than a decade, packing a handful of full-length albums with his tuneful and time-worn folk rock.

With its rich production and lived-in feel, SoDak is McLean’s best effort yet. Whether it raises McLean’s profile remains to be seen. This is a man whose musical ability outstrips his name recognition, and that’s just fine with McLean, who forgoes heavy touring to stay home with his wife and two kids.

“The price you pay for balance is often speed,” he said. “The good thing about taking more time is that the songs get to steep a bit longer, and you get to take more time to let the stories unfold.”

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