15 Dec 2018
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Marlon Williams

Bio

Marlon Williams won his first singing competition at the age of 11 at Lyttelton Main School and was stuck trying to balance the seesaw of his love for the lost souls of bluegrass and hellfire with his deep reverence for sacred choral music.

This set the course for his teenage years as he not only formed The Unfaithful Ways winning the best song award in 2008 , but toured Europe with the Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Choir, supporting the Vienna Boys Choir.

“It has always been a balancing act for me, walking the tightrope between the sinners of Saturday night and the sorry of Sunday morning, the cigarettes versus the frankincense..”

The Unfaithful Ways first album, made album of the year, and went to the finals of the critics choice awards, causing perennial cynic Simon Sweetman to state “There have been a few Kiwi alt-country/folk ensembles in recent years; many of them seem to lack authenticity…But The Unfaithful Ways have found a way in; there’s something utterly believable about this music; that it should come from New Zealand and channel a version of Americana.”

The lightning quick fundraiser from “the Lyttelton Scene” surrounding the Christchurch Earthquake, was highly visible at the 2012 APRA country music awards, where Marlon Williams was nominated for best album twice, (for both Free Rein and The Harbour Union, as well as for best song with Ghost of this Town.

Sweeping the end of year best lists of 2012 from Amplifier online to the NZ Herald, Sad But True leapt into the New Zealand consciousness, causing Karl du Fresne to quip; “I’d go so far as to say that in 40 years of listening to live music here and overseas, I can remember only a handful of performances that were as satisfying as this one.” and, perhaps more exaggeratedly, “Williams’ tenor voice is so thrillingly pure and sweet that it might cause atheists to wonder whether there really is a god.”

The studio he recorded Free Rein in, as well as the Cathedral that he spent countless hours singing in, are both reduced to rubble. Marlon sings in Vacant lots, Bars made from Shipping Containers, and makeshift stages, performing marathon residencies, 6 hours long, as well as frequently touring the country. Where is he now?

“Its always been music, and always will be…I guess I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t”

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  • Outside Of NZ

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