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The Marble Man

2006 18-year old Josef Wirnshofer recorded a 9 track demo CD in the loft of his parents’ home in Traunstein, Southern Germany. His homestudio consists of a fourtrack recorder, guitars, drums, several organs and an accordion. The songs, dominated by accoustic guitar and vocals, breathe the air of classical songwriting between Nick Drake and the young folky Beck. Following the title of Nico’s album “Marble Index” Josef calls his one-man project “The Marble Man”.

He sent the demo CD out to German redio stations and got unanimously marvellous feedback. The editors were agreed that The Marble Man is a most talented singer/songwriter. By Bavarian youth station Zündfunk (Bayern 2 Radio) he was featured in detail and so was spontaneously booked for the famous Bavarian Open Festival, alongside with big names like Catpower or The Thermals. There again, with a small backing band, The Marble Man aroused enthusiasm, also because of his charming and unobtrusive performance. Through the radio airplay Schinderwies label boss Archie Müller got in contact with the young artist and together they planned to release a full-length album. Josef got back to his studio and completed the existing tracks, made little touch-ups here and there and added new songs.

“Sugar Rails” has become an album of clever and authentic songwriting. “If you don’t feel like joining the parade/don’t be scared, you’re not alone/it’s not too late”, the young singer seems to encourage himself in the title track “Sugar Rails”. What we hear are big songs, excellently crafted between classical folk-picking and sonic outbursts with electric guitar and drums, in content wavering between resignation and a strong longing for departure. Every single instumetal phrase, every metaphor is carefully placed and most of the songs are flooded by a melancholy clarity. To his main Influences The Marble Man counts The Velvet Underground, Kristofer Aström and Leonard Cohen. No wonder that the songs on Sugar Rails sound like the singer was two times older than he actually is. One thing is for sure: Josef Wirnshofer aka The Marble Man is going to make his way – a shining way!


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