Marc Bristol Homepage / Harmatones


Marc Bristol has survived hitchhiking around the country a few times (once on a small private plane!), falling off a mountain near Santa Susanna Pass in California, a Native American Church peyote ceremony in New Mexico, working the green chain at an alder sawmill, a brief affair with a self described witch, doing the Lambada around Pioneer Square during Fat Tuesday (without knowing how to do the Lambada), and many other adventures. Some of those stories appear in his songs. Marc has appeared with: Reba McEntire, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Asleep At The Wheel, Buckwheat Zydeco, Queen Ida, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Dan Hicks, Flo & Eddie (the Turtles), The David Bromberg Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Hartford, Dave Van Ronk, Glenn Yarbrough, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Tom Chapin, Alison Krause, Victoria Williams, the subdudes, the Ink Spots, Katy Moffatt, Freddie Bell, The Olympics, Merrilee Rush, the Sundogs, the Beat Farmers, Ranch Romance, and many many others, either solo or with one of his bands.

Marc Bristol is an underrated songwriter, better known for his work editing and publishing Blue Suede News - his songwriting goes far beyond the novelty rocker "Sucker For A Cheap Guitar" recorded by Ronnie Dawson. Marc has written Cowboy love songs ("More Than One Night"), Jimmy Reed style Blues ("Let Me Be Your Lovin' Man"), New Orleans style funky R&B ("Hatchet Headed Woman"), Western Swing ("Goin' Down To The River"), Rockabilly ("Sweet Little Boppin' Gal"), Honky Tonk ("Sweet Misery Moan"), Country Blues ("Circus Dog Blues"), Cajun ("Glad You Come To Visit"), Bluegrass ("Feel Like Flying"), Rock'n'Roll Tributes ("Screaming In Tongues"), Funk ("Gonna Play With Fire"), even guitar instrumentals ("Shuffle, Don't Run"), and Southern Rock ("My Way Is The Highway"). More styles could be named, but just check out some of Marc's music - 42 different songs are available on the CDs sold here, some in more than one version. Marc's written more than a hundred songs and is still writing, so more are coming out! Lyrics to some songs linked here! More clips below!
Buy Marc Bristol CDs at this link!!!
Cick here for Marc Bristol's Musicpage: Hear 8 complete songs!
Buy "Sucker For A Cheap Guitar" as a download!

Marc Bristol CDs Page
Marc Bristol Videos Page

 King Noodle Home

Filé Gumbo

Blue Suede News Home

E-mail Marc

Jukebox Fever Comp!!


More Pictures!!

Upcoming Gigs

Blue Suede News Home

Song List #1

Song List #2

Okie Doke

Gumbo Twins

Honky Tonk Sweethearts

Click here for some of Marc Bristol's Song Lyrics!

Book Marc Bristol: (425) 788-2776 - E-mail Marc

Tracks: 1. Circus Dog Blues, 2. Hatchet Headed Woman, 3. Goin' Down To The River, 4. Too Close For Comfort, 5. Born To Be A Misfit, 6. Northern Train #1, 7. Gonna Play With Fire, 8. Sweet Misery Moan, 8. Gonna Play With Fire, 9. Fish In The Sea, 10. Let Me Be Your Lovin' Man, 11. Northern Train #2, 12. Some City Blues, 13. Love Me Back

Or send $15 to Blue Suede News ($18 for Europe, Australia, Asia or $17 for Canada), Box 25, Duvall, WA 98019 Or you can call us at 425-788-2776 and place your credit card order over the phone! (you can also order more than one CD and save! Each additional CD only $11 including postage! E-mail Marc)

(6 complete songs at File' Gumbo's myspace page AND check out videos there!)
Here's the link to another YouTube video posted on Marc's Birthday (from the Rockabilly Ball Sun Records Tribute)
"Rock'n'Roll Ruby" - -

We Have Mp3 Clips of Some Marc Bristol Songs!! Download below & play or play online!

 Screaming In Tongues

From Bristol Rockin'

I Got Twisted
from Bristol Rockin'
Daily Grind
from Bristol Rockin'
Shuffle, Don't Run
from Bristol Rockin'

 Addicted To Kissin'

From Rockabilly
Rhythm & Blues

 Let's Shake It
From Rockabilly Rhythm & Blues AND Jukebox Fever

 Hatchet Headed Woman

From the Filé Gumbo CD Bon Ton Two Tone

 Crazy Mama
From Big Big Love AND
On The Edge Of Romance

Circus Dog Blues

From Sweet Misery Moan

 Sweet Misery Moan

From Sweet Misery Moan
AND On The Edge Of Romance

 Fish In The Sea

From Sweet Misery Moan

 Glad You Come To Visit
From Bon Ton Two Tone
AND Glad You Come To Visit

My Way Is The Highway

From Travelin' Mood AND
On The Edge Of Romance

  Gonna Turn My Lovelight On

From Big Big Love AND
On The Edge Of Romance

  She Helped Me Get My Mind Off You

From On The Edge Of Romance

 Makin' Sweet Love
To You

From Mardi Gras In New Orleans
AND On The Edge Of Romance

Click here to hear part of

 Feel Like Flying

From Bluegrass Blend and -
Best of Marc Bristol Country, Vol. 2

Click here to hear part of

 Rollin' Along

From Best of Marc Bristol -
Country, Vol. 2

Calypso Zydeco

From The Filé Gumbo CD Travelin' Mood

 The Best Of Everything

From On The Edge Of Romance

See CD covers and ordering info below, at File Gumbo homepage, and King Noodle Homepage
(3 complete Marc Bristol songs at File' Gumbo's myspace page)

Singer, Songwriter, Bandleader


photo by Gaby Maag-Bristol

Marc Bristol

Born in Michigan, in a place called Muskegon (which means roughly swamp by the river in the native tongue), Marc Bristol comes from a long line of entertainers. His great grandfather had a wild west show and a caravan of wild animals like lions, tigers, bears and reptiles. Marc's great grandma was a "snake charmer" or reptile woman and her daughter, Marc's grandmother, sang and did a contortionist act in vaudeville as "Baby Nona". Marc's dad sang in a barbershop quartet (the Aire Tonics, Mich. State champs '56-'57), and his mother was a tap dancer. Because of the automobile and fruit industries, Michigan is full of all sorts of people with different backgrounds - hillbillies of every stripe, Okies, Arkies, Cajuns, Blacks, Chicanos, immigrants from everywhere. This made for a wide range of influences on a young writer and musician. To top it off young Bristol spent many evenings in the late '50s and early '60s tuning the AM radio band pulling in signals from far off radio stations bouncing off the ionosphere. In the process Marc listened to every kind of music on the airwaves at the time. He was already displaying a voracious appetite for variety.

Here's our latest act!!

Marc & Gaby

Honky Tonk Sweethearts

Photo taken at the Sweet Tequila Saloon near Seth in Northern Germany at our last gig on the June 2003 tour.

Gaby has recently taken up playing electric bass and was sitting in at our gigs at Big Al's Texas Barbeque the last couple months getting ready for the tour. On each of the Germany and Holland shows she sat in for about 3 songs a set - and the first unofficial Honky Tonk Sweethearts gig was the last part of Marc's set at the Big Bear Festival in Zuidlaren, Holland. Later the same day Gaby played a whole set on Marc's gig at the Ribhouse Desperado in Wesepe, Holland. She appears in several of the photos from the tour at our New Pictures site, including one from this Ribhouse gig (and now several other appearances)!

New Pictures!!

Bristol's career in music started in the mid-'60s playing rock and roll, but soon expanded to include country, blues and folk music. While in college Marc played in a few more bands, then turned to soloing on the college coffee-house circuit. After conferring himself with a "black belt" in journalism from the "school of hard knocks", he stuck out his thumb and he and his guitar took a couple turns around the U.S. looking for a suitable place in the country to live and write some songs. The place turned out to be Index,Washington, in the Cascade Mountains. After woodshedding (literally) for a couple of years, Marc unleashed himself on the unsuspecting Seattle music scene, starting modestly on the streets and in the cafes of the colorful Pike Place Market. It didn't take long before he was also playing coffeehouses colleges, and pubs. Then, when he met a couple of like-minded musicians, he formed The Okie Doke Stringband - the name gleaned from a collection of names used in jest by Marc's first band back in Muskegon (who jokingly called themselves "Okie Doke & The Local Yokels", among other names). That was the mid-'70s. Okie Doke

 Marc's first band the Moogaloonies
-alias Blue Blais and the Flash Gordon Four
-alias Okie Doke & the Local Yokels
­alias Potts & the Pans. 1965.

L. to R.: (kneeling) Marc Bristol, (standing) Phil Blais, Dick Vento, Terry Potts, Scott Gabrielson.

Terry went on to record on Fenton with the Aard Varks

Scott carried the band on a while as the Mad Hatters

Photo: Peter Blodow (using Marc's camera)

R.I.P. Terry Potts

To the left - the Aristocrats 1966: Rick Schewe (vocals), Gary Jones (rhythm guitar), Gary Schlipp (drums), Marc Bristol (lead guitar), Dave Naab (bass). Photo: Caroline Schewe (using Marc's camera). Wish I still had that Melody Maker! The Aristocrats were from South Haven, MI.

(R.I.P. Gary Jones & Gary Schlipp)

Rediscovered photo of the Phog 1967 (or the Spectral Phog based upon our light show consisting of two trays with dry ice illuminated by two revolving colored Christmas lights). Larry Hosner (drums), Bruce Hosner (lead guitar), Marc Bristol (bass), Doug Hodges (rhytm guitar), Darwin Leathers (lead vocals).

The band was based in Bloomingdale, MI.

Photographer unknown.

Okie Doke still performs frequently (most recent recording Okie Doke "Live At The EMP), and Marc plays in a couple of other bands as well, most notably the Filé Gumbo Zydeco Band. At this writing Bristol's catalog of original tunes numbers over 90, and spans a wide variety of styles from rockabilly & country, to blues, R&B, calypso and beyond. Other artists are beginning to pick up on those tunes - Rockabilly star Ronnie Dawson released his version of Marc's "Sucker For A Cheap Guitar", and Marc's also had tunes done by Northwest R&B sensation Duffy Bishop and nationally syndicated radio stars Sandy Bradley & Small Wonders (their show was called "Potluck").

As if he wasn't busy enough performing and writing songs, Marc also wrote a regular column for The Mother Earth News for 6 years and now edits his own American roots music magazine called Blue Suede News - House Organ of the Church of Rock'n'Roll!!! Blue Suede News Home

 Marc's recordings include: Okie Doke Band (self-titled EP, 1981); This Feelin' (LP, 1982 - also with Okie Doke); WAM BAM BOOM (cassette, 1987); Filé Gumbo Zydeco Band (*cassette, 1988); Filé Gumbo LIVE! (*cassette, 1990); Feel Like Flying (cassette, 1992, with Okie Doke); Bon Ton Two Tone (*CD, cassette, 1992); Sweet Misery Moan (cassette, 1994, with Blisswater, CD - 2000); Big Big Love (*CD, Cassette, 1994); Let's Shake It! (cassette, 1995, with The Shack Shakers); Mardi Gras In New Orleans (*CD, Cassette, 1996); Rockabilly Rhythm & Blues (CD, 1997); Homegrown Music (Book, 1982 / videocassette, 1994) ; (*with File Gumbo); Great Northwest Country (compilation, 1982); Seattle R&B Volume 1 (*compilation, 1992); All American Hardcore Hillbillies (compilation, 1995); Turning The World Blue (Gene Vincent Tribute disc, 1996); Rockabilly Hall Of Fame, Vol. 1 (1998); Travelin'Mood (* CD, 2000); Jukebox Fever (CD compilation, 2002), On The Edge Of Romance: The Best of Marc Bristol - Country (CD, 2003); Bluegrass Blend (CD, 2003): Glad You Come To Visit: The Best Of Marc Bristol - Country, Vol. 2 (CD 2004); 30 Years!!! Bear Family Records (CD box set BCD 17015 PR). Marc has also appeared on recordings by other artists, like Jef Jaisun, Gary Cooper, Filucy Hootchie Cootchie Band, Jeanne Towne, J.W. Sparrow and others. Titles in bold type available here - order below!


Marc's Country CD (Vol. 1)!
Ordering info below!

Click here to order On The Edge Of Romance securely online through Paypal (and see the list of songs!)

(from Howard Cockburn's review of "On The Edge Of Romance" in his "Country Comment" column in the British magazine Now Dig This:

"What struck me first was the Hank Thompson quality to Marc's voice, plus a smidge of Ernest Tubb but more in tune! And the CD is very listenable with a great variety on offer from straight country, western swing and Cajun with attendant accordion for authenticity. I was impressed by a cuple of the slower songs 'If You Really Love Me' and 'She Helped Me (get my mind off you)'."

"While deliberately avoiding appeals to nostalgia, Marc Bristol re-awakens our awareness of rock and roll as the bold, exciting, revolutionary force that changed the course of musical history forever." Doug Bright - Heritage Music Review

"Wow, I hope this next band can keep the heat up!" - KMPS DJ just after the band played a set at Seattle's Bumbershoot

Marc has appeared on radio and TV, at many festivals and in concert with a wide variety of artists, including: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Reba McEntire, The Marshall Tucker Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Buckwheat Zydeco, Queen Ida, Katie Webster, DaveVan Ronk, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, John Hartford, GlenYarbrough, Tom Chapin, Dan Hicks, Utah Phillips, Kate Wolf, The Cheap Suit Serenaders,The Five Blind Boys, Moses Rascoe, Valdy, Roy Forbes, Freddie Bell, the Olympics & many others! Most recently (April 2005) Marc appeared on the Rockin' 50s Fest II at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin along with a huge number of Rockabilly, early Rock'n'Roll and Country music luminaries. New Pictures!!


 One of Marc's recent promo shot's (photo by Gaby Maag-Bristol), taken for the Hemsby 24 Rockabilly Weekender (England) program. The guitar is a new Telestar, modelled after the Danelectro manufactured Silvertone that was Marc's first decent guitar. The Telestar features better tuners, a tunable bridge, a longer and less clunky neck and some different paint choices than the original. It was acquired in yet another swap with Emerald City Guitars in Seattle, in trade for a set of Shure Vocal Master speaker columns and a Lyle copy of a Stratocaster. Air Canada wouldn't let Marc carry this one on the plane in a gig bag, so he brought Old Faithful, the '57 Harmatone Custom (actually a Silvertone made by Harmony) pictured above in the photo with the 'cowboy hat.

 The Aire-Tonics - Gerry Guimond - lead, Tom Damm - baritone, Bill Wickstrom - tenor, and Marc's dad Clare Bristol - bass. They were Michigan District (now the Pioneer District) champs for '57, crowned in late 1956! This is the cover shot of our family's "personal edition" 20 song CD of performances from 1958 (entitled "Putting The Harm In Harmony"), the year they broke up when Bill moved to Detroit from the group home base of Muskegon, Michigan. As you can see showmanship was a big part of their act. The Aire-Tonics' repertoire was eclectic, and fairly swingin', and ran the gamut "from Bach, Barbershop, Boogie and Bop".
 Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy
mp3 Clip! check the "doo-wops" in the middle!



Marc's Great Grandpa Fletcher Fowler owned a circus! Here they are headed on tour April 13, 1934

 At right: Baby Nona. Marc's grandmother at about age 5. She sang and did a contortionist act in her father's vaudeville and carnival shows. Marc's great-grandfather Fletcher Fowler operated the Fowler Brothers Circus, and was a friend to the famous Keaton Vaudeville family, which included young Buster Keaton, later to become one of the greatest silent film comedians, and even made talkies, including a great episode of Twilight Zone, in which he hijacked a time machine and returned to the era in which he created his own fame. Baby Nona loved dressing the baby alligators from her father's wild animal exhibits in doll clothes. We wish we had a photo for you! Watch out Barbie!!!

As you can see Marc Bristol comes from a long line of entertainers!



 Marc's CD Circus Dog Blues is newly available. 15 songs in all, all original, in various styles of Country Blues ranging from Piedmont, Delta and Texas influences to Hank Williams style.12 of the songs were released as part of Sweet Misery Moan" previously. Click here to order "Circus Dog Blues" securely online through Paypal (and see the list of songs!

Bookings: (425) 788-2776 - E-mail Marc

Price List And Order Links Below

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