There is power in music and there is power in protest. Combining the two creates an unstoppable force that can empower even the most timid of souls. Marshall Law Band harnessed the energies from their instruments and the George Floyd protests in Seattle to produce their album, 12th & Pine.
“When most people think of protests for civil rights and equality, especially where tear gas and other impact munitions were deployed, they don’t think about a live band playing in the midst of it – but that’s what separates Marshall Law Band from perhaps any other band in America.” The album artwork reads like a newspaper article. Omari Salisbury of Converge Media recounts the time when the Marshall Law Band set up a stage and performed during the height of the recent protests in Capitol Hill.
Salisbury continues, “Every night for a week, Marshall Law Band played on. Inhaling tear gas, they played on. Dodging rubber bullets, they played on. The music never stopped; MLB played on… When I think back on the days of the Western Barricade, I remember MLB’s protest. It was the music that never stopped. No signs, no chants – just music that empowered weary protesters and remained ever-present. Regardless of the danger, the protest house band played on.”
Marshall Law Band Performs In The Midst Of Protest
With tracks like, “BLM,” “Don’t Wanna Die,” and “Louder (Black & Proud),” it’s easy to see how Marshall Law Band became the official soundtrack to the Seattle protests. The inspiring performances weren’t going to stop at the abandoned East Precinct, however. Having spent the majority of the year without the ability to enjoy live music, the boys in the band decided that it was their duty to continue bringing their inspirational performances to the city of Seattle.
The week of their album release, Marshall Law Band joked that since concerts are on hold that they should build a mobile stage on a parade-like float to help promote the album. The next day they enlisted the help of some creative locals to build a float that depicted the corner of 12th Ave and East Pine Street. They proceeded to perform their album, 12th & Pine, the entire weekend after its release from atop the float while being driven around the city. What started out as a funny what-if type scenario, turned into a heart-warming and highly successful marketing campaign for their new album.
Marshall Law Band Performs Debut Album 12th & Pine On A Parade Float
Helping guide the sound of the album was legendary engineer, Jack Endino who has recorded major Northwest bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. As well, accompanying the album is a short graphic novel available to read on their website. Also, Marshall Law Band released a documentary chronicling the time from the beginning of the protests up until the album’s release. This is not just an album release, but a collection of art reflecting on a historic turning point in our society.
You don’t have to live in the Seattle area to understand and relate to their music. Marshall Law Band has this infectious energy that makes your chest swell with pride for your community – wherever you’re from. Their songs have messages that can transcend through generations and instrumentals that will burrow deep into your soul. The most important thing, I feel, that the Marshall Law Band does, is to bring people of all kinds together with the common interest of simply enjoying life and spreading love.