Marble returns to Pendleton

Singer-songwriter Leigh Marble will perform at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Company on Thursday evening.<BR><I>Contributed photo

Portland-based singer/songwriter Leigh Marble will reconnect with his memories of Pendleton at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at Great Pacific, 403 S. Main St. Marble's first performance here came last year.

"The last time we came through we did several concerts along the way - including Walla Walla, Boise and La Grande," he said. "Pendleton was the last show, and it was by far the best. I loved it."

Born and raised in rural Massachusetts, Marble attended Brown University in Rhode Island before visiting Portland and deciding to make it his home 11 years ago.

"I was looking for a change of scene," he said. "Portland seemed to be a comfortable city to navigate and the music scene was new. In Boston, it's firmly established so it's hard to break in."

He began working as a software developer but his music helped him leave his full-time position to open his own business.

"I needed to be flexible," he said of his decision to become his own boss.

This tour is in support of his second album, "Red Tornado," which he put together in a different way than his first album, "Peeps."

"I took chances letting more people into the creative process," he said. "I had a couple key overdub sessions with friends ... both of which helped push songs in a new direction. I was willing to lay some stuff down, like a rock record, and not mess with it by polishing it. I left the rough edges this time."

The result has won him strong reviews. The Portland Tribune wrote, "Marble demonstrates a range most artists only dream of." Willamette Week's review said, "his whip-smart lyrics; sharp, punk-influenced acoustic guitar; and blowhard harmonica put Marble at the head of Portland's singer-songwriter class."

Another thing Marble enjoys about his new home are the differences in geography, such as what he witnesses on the drive from Portland to Boise.

"Compared to where I grew up, the changes between Western and Eastern Oregon is such a novel idea," he said. "The desert and the mountain passes are beautiful."

Marble also learned a valuable lesson during his first appearance in Eastern Oregon. He and his band finished a show in La Grande about a year ago, and decided to go ahead and drive to Pendleton late that night. After all, there was no snow.

"It was the fog," he said of his mountain pass journey. "It was so extreme."

This time he's heading from Pendleton for a show in Boise and hopes the roads will be fog-free.

There is no cover charge and no minimum at Great Pacific, and all ages are welcome. Marble will have copies of "Red Tornado" available for purchase. To get a taste of his music before the concert, go to www.leighmarble.com.

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