After a period of self-imposed exile, Jackie Marshall, aka the Peppercorn Queen has returned to the stage with a brilliant, buoyant EP.
Motherhood has taken none of the edges off her mercurial temperament and the sure signs of her returning confidence were displayed at the recent Nundle Rocks festival (an alt-country alternative to the Tamworth Country Music Festival) where initial nerves were soon overtaken by the invincible courage and power of a great voice finding itself back in the saddle.
What’s always been so utterly absorbing about a Jackie Marshall performance is that you’re witnessing a woman engaged in a clear and present struggle with her demons on stage in front of you. While you’re occasionally hearing the voice of one of these ventriloquist poltergeists, Jackie’s mostly hollering triumphantly from atop their savaged carcasses. Marshall’s always taken her battles to the stage and that’s where she fights best, gleefully disposing of her muses and enemies and beckoning for more.
The Good People EP successfully translates this energy in the studio, a compliment to producer Leigh Ivin and the Fat Lambs, whose own pastoral credentials are verified in the shed out back of Tamworth where this was laid down. It is also the latest release in a striking body of work that includes the Australian Music Prize shortlisted ‘Fight ‘n Flight’ album and the critically acclaimed ‘Ladies’ Luck’.
Marshall’s musicality is undimmed by her absence. She has that ability to transform mere chords and phrases into soaring epics that bear as much resemblance to a prog epic by the Who as to her Joni Mitchell moments. This record unleashes a sober and seasoned Jackie Marshall, bloodied but unbowed.
The Queen is back. Long live the Queen.
The Good People EP also finds Jackie supported by long time co-conspirators with the record available in stores through Vitamin, and for download everywhere through SUGARRUSH Music.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.