What happens when Los Angeles punk collides with Appalachian string music? A ruckus and a whale of a good time, that’s what. Paddy O’Leary’s has become a second home for the California newgrass band Old Man Markley, and this Friday they will put their stamp on the sand once again.
IN: What is it about punk and bluegrass music that lends itself to being played together?
OLD MAN MARKLEY: Both punk and bluegrass are really organic styles of music, by the people, for the people. They each come with a strong foundation, yet each can be built on to create something new that still draws on tradition. For us, it has always felt natural to combine the two styles.
IN: How did the band and these influences come together?
MARKLEY: It began as a group of friends jamming. It evolved into our careers and livelihoods. Luckily, we all like living together on our bus for weeks at a time!
IN: Who were some of the musicians that inspired you to make this kind of music?
MARKLEY: We all have such different answers for this! Johnny Cash, June Carter, Levon Helm, Hot Rize, Madonna…
IN: What’s the most difficult part of touring nationally with a seven-piece band?
MARKLEY: Keeping the bus clean and flossing every night.
IN: What are three of the band’s “deserted island” records?
MARKLEY: The Beatles “Rubber Soul,” Off With Their Heads “From the Bottom,” The Band “Jericho.”
IN: How many times have you guys played Paddy O’Leary’s?
MARKLEY: This will be our fourth time at Paddy O’Leary’s. Pensacola Beach feels like a second home to us. We’ve paddle boarded, shark fished, run miles down the beach, made the car bomb hall of fame wall, and even found time to play some music at Paddy’s in between. We love it there!
Photo: Old Man Markley Official