By Shelby Stewart
Since he was 12 years old, Bob Marshall has been playing guitar.
Last week, Marshall’s dedication and musical talent earned him the title of “Best Male Vocalist of the Year” at the 22nd annual Academy of Western Artists’ Will Rodgers award ceremony. The event was March 15 on the campus of Texas Christian University. Fort Worth, Texas
“When I first started playing guitar, I loved blues,” said Marshall, 62. “In the 70s, when the singer/songwriter stuff got popular, I liked that sound. I liked the simple sound of a voice and a guitar.”
Marshall, who is a retired police officer, serves as a trustee in Brandon Township. He also teaches criminal justice at Oakland Community College.
“It was a very special moment for me. I have so many to thank for this award,” he said. “It’s humbling to think that DJ’s from as far away as Spain, Brazil and Japan have as much input as hometown DJ’s in Traverse City and Sandusky, and they selected me as representative of what they think a Western singer should be.”
Marshall classifies himself and his band as “cowboy rock and roll.” He started out singing blues and folk music. He only switched over to western after a suggestion from a past manager.
“I was playing in Pontiac, and I was running late for the gig, I always dress like this, boots, hat, so I just grabbed my guitar and went like this,” he said. “I didn’t dress like this for gigs. After the show she said ‘you should really capitalize on that cowboy shtick.’ It was like a light bulb above my head.”
He says that inspiration for songs he writes come from everywhere, and he is working on songs currently.
“I haven’t given it much thought past just enjoying the moment for a while and then getting back at it with my band or my solo shows,” he said.
Locally Marshall will perform at Septemberfest this fall. Check him out at bobmarshallband.com.