INTERVIEW: Old Man Markley – A strange duck in the Fat Wreck pond.

Photo by Fred Morledge

Old Man Markley is a band that is to punkrock for bluegrass and to bluegrass for punkrock. They were founded in 2007 when members of LA’s finest punk bands (Youth Brigade, …) and seasoned bluegrass musicians teamed up. Now almost four years later, the love for Old Man Markley continues to grow. They released their debut album ‘Guts ‘N Teeth’ in January 2011 on Fat Wreck Chords. Look out for the Flogging Molly of the bluegrass punk. At Groezrock I had a chat with Old Man Markley’s washtub bass player Joey Garibaldi (fourth from the right).

“Bluegrass is very genre specific, I guess we are mainly a bluegrass band with a punk approach. It’s so weird to say what it really is, I think its good time music”, Joey says.

Bringing their good time music for the first time at an early hour at Groezrock wasn’t really a big problem for Old Man Markley. Although they are quite unknown here, a big audience showed up. “We had a good crowd, people were into it and singing our lyrics. We never played in Belgium before and we are really happy to be part of such an amazing festival. We can play bluegrass festivals because we have banjo, fiddle, mandolin and bathtub bass but we are also a  bluegrass punk band”, Joey says.

In a way to understand Old Man Markley we can call them the Flogging Molly of Bluegrass punk. Being on a mainly hardcore and punkrock festival they had zero expectations. “Groezrock has a lot of American bands and it felt like being on the warped tour but then in Belgium. But on the other hand I wasn’t sure how we would come over but the crowd  blew me away. We are from LA and it’s really hard for independent bands to reach out. I played bass in punkrock bands like Youth Brigade and they are a well-established band. Playing in a big band, like Old Man Markley, is hard. We are eight people, ”Joey Says.

Both Johnny Carey (vocalist) and Joey play(ed) in LA’s Youth  Brigade and this connection really helped to launch Old Man Markley. “The Stern brothers are very involved with who they play with and with  the LA scene,  and that’s where I was from. They almost wrote the book on touring the United states, punk bands did not do that before they did. By being in Youth Brigade, I came in contact with Fat Mike from Fat Wreck Chords, who is a really nice guy and who was really interested in my other band Old Man Markley. He found it weird but he like It”, Joey Says.


“Playing as a punkrocker with all those amazing bluegrass musicians is great.” Joey Garibaldi.

www.oldmanmarkley.com

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