“You don't have to hear much of Marisa Quigley's strong and soulful voice to realise singing is her destiny.”
— Matt Novacevski, Forte Magazine
Description: Singer, songwriter, guitarist (finger-picking acoustic), cabaret performer and librettist. Occasional radio presenter. Independent. Musical collaborator. Has songs, will travel.
Genres: Blues, roots, alt-country, folk, gospel. Originals and alternative covers.
Style: Power-packed, soulful, raunchy, earthy, funny.
Line-ups: Solo, duo, trio and band (Marisa Quigley & Her Sunday Best).
Influences: Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Etta James.
Collaborations: Chubby Rae & the Elevators; The Blue Yonder; The Gospel Belles; Begley, Butler & Quigley
Marisa Quigley is an award-winning Australian blues/roots singer and songwriter, solo artist, and cabaret performer. With her charismatic stage presence and powerhouse delivery, the husky-voiced chanteuse has drawn comparisons with Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. Absolutely at home on the stage, Marisa captivates audiences from the moment she sashays forth from behind the curtain. She’s a statuesque, flame-haired beauty who radiates warmth, humour and earthiness.
A natural raconteur, irreverent wit and deft lyricist, she has audiences in stitches one minute, and moved to tears the next. Her songwriting influences are as diverse as Tom Waits and The Eagles, and her songs span the gamut from haunting to heartfelt to hilarious. With an eclectic blend of blues/roots and alt-country/folk, a wink and a nudge, a tickle and a poke, her act is soulful, fun, endearing—and highly entertaining.
This self-made songstress and tireless troubadour regularly criss-crosses Australia from her home in country Victoria, performing at intimate house concerts, dusty outdoor stages, packed town halls and famous festivals with a range of line-ups. Since 2008 Marisa has performed her original tunes in solo, duo, trio and band line-ups at festivals across the country from Uranquinty to Port Fairy, from Blues on Broadbeach to Adelaide River Music Muster, and from Katherine Country Music Muster to Yackandandah Folk Festival.
Forte music magazine has described her as “Possibly the blackest white woman since Janis Joplin”, and Triple J Roots & All presenter Sarah Howells has praised her live performances, saying, “Amazing voice. I’ve seen Marisa live a few times and she absolutely rocks it.”
As a solo performer (finger-picking acoustic guitar and vocals) and songwriter, Marisa has released two studio albums and was a semi-finalist in the 2012 International Songwriting Competition. Her 2011 self-titled debut opened at No. 1 in the Blues & Roots Music: Australian Radio Charts and earned high praise from Brian Fraser, an award-winning and respected Australian blues/roots musician, who said: “In this, (her) first-class debut CD, Marisa has managed to weave her original material through various styles and moods, yet make it all fit neatly into one highly enjoyable package. The strength of any album is the quality of the songs, and this original album is one great song after another.”
Geoff Forbes, reviewing the CD for Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society Bluesletter, wrote: “Marisa is a blues singer who has soaked up the long tradition of female blues singers such as Bessie Smith, Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. She wrote all the songs and she sings them all like they really mean something… you can’t beat that. There's a lot to like about this album—rich voice, engaging songs, variety of styles and instrumentation… and you can actually hear Marisa's personality in the songs.”
Her musical watershed came in 2007 with a decision to pack her life into ‘Bob’ the campervan and take off on an epic solo road trip. Starting in her then hometown of Geelong, she drove up the eastern coast of Australia and across the Top End, mostly camping at roadside stops and staying with friends along the way. Her two-year journey took her back to her roots in Darwin, where she stayed for nine months earning a living as a musician—writing songs, performing three to five solo shows a week, and crystallising her unique vocal style and stage presence. These songs formed the basis for her two solo CDs, Marisa Quigley and Gypsy’s Lament.
Marisa has been a regular on the Geelong blues scene for more than a few years and is best known as the front person for the venerable Chubby Rae & the Elevators, but in recent times been carving out a solo career. This is Marisa's first solo CD and she has paid all the necessary dues and produced an excellent CD based on the “nous” gained over the years.
Marisa is a blues singer who has soaked up the long tradition of female blues singers such as Bessie Smith, Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt. She wrote all the songs and she sings them all like they really mean something... you can’t beat that. There's a variety of styles and instrumentations from country to blues and on to rock.
Marisa handles the vocals and the acoustic guitar. She is supported by Tommy McEwan (who you would know as Louis King) on just about everything else. The "other" Chris Wilson played the keys. Ash Grunwald adds some guitar. Fave tracks - Wannabe (for all the wannabes… I think that's pretty much all of us), Sing me a Lullaby – a very moving song.
There's a lot to like about this album - rich voice, engaging songs, variety of styles and instrumentation and you can actually hear Marisa's personality in the songs... just like a real person. If you caught one of Marisa's performances in the 2010 BPOY comp you know what I mean. I would listen to this CD if I ever was in a reflective mood regarding life, love and other tedious details.