• Bryon Harris

Gay Marshall - "That Don't Make It Junk"

By Aaron Cloutier & Staff

Gay Marshall’s performance of “That Don’t Make It Junk” is full of personality and expression as she brings new perspective to the Leonard Cohen classic. A sultry arrangement of upright bass, light percussion, and tantalizing keys lull listeners into a relaxed trance.

Her voice is smoky and theatrical much like the song itself which is very jazzy in nature with a great sway in the rhythm. To me, she’s a great “actress” in the sense of embodying the story she’s telling. I particularly enjoyed when she switched from her soulful crooning to a more narration type style of vocal as shown in the section

“I stopped looking for you, stopped waiting for you, I stopped dying for you And started dying for myself. I aged rapidly. Became fat in the face. Soft in the gut. And I forgot that I’d ever loved you."

The quirkiness and humor of this passage really grabbed me. Gay Marshall simply nailed that signature attitude that Cohen is known for. This combination of a dramatic vocal style, immersive lyrics and theatrical performance mixed with bright piano keys, soft guitar lines, and gentle brush strokes on the snare make for a song that hits you like a splash of bourbon at the end of a long day. If that sounds good to you, then Marshall’s interpretation of “That Don’t Make It Junk” might be just what the doctor ordered.


About Gay Marshall

Gay Marshall has released 3 independent CDs, and is a Billboard Top World Artist for her recording, Gay Marshall Sings Piaf, La Vie L’Amour. For the past 10 years she has worked mainly in New York City nightclubs and great halls, building a loyal following of downtown music lovers. She has performed at Joe’s Pub and Carnegie Hall as well as Pangea and Feinstein’s. She recently turned her attention to the poet and songwriter, Leonard Cohen, and released a collection of his music and poetry, Back on Boogie Street in 2020. Gay has been a guest of NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon and Sandra Bernhard’s Sandyland. Her recording, Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night, is a collection of early 20th C. Blues and Jazz. Marshall began her music career singing in a small French restaurant in Cleveland once a week after returning home from London, where she attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Her repertoire included French music and Dixieland blues and jazz, Broadway tunes and standards. She eventually made her way to Broadway and A Chorus Line, playing Diana Morales, and singing "What I Did for Love" every night. Marshall went to Paris to study French and fell in love with the city and her husband. She originated the role of Grizabella in the original French production of CATS, did Les Z'Années Zazous at the Folies Bergère, and created the roles of l'Autruche and the Petit Caillou in Emilie Jolie at the Cirque d'Hiver. During the day, she dubbed a lot of films and cartoons. She also performed with English theatre groups and was the voice of beauty brand, Garnier Nutrisse, for many years. Her original show, If I Were Me… . had successful runs in Paris, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received rave reviews, and was declared by the Daily Express to be #2 on their Top Ten list of shows not to be missed. She wrote an original show about French icon, Edith Piaf, called “La Vie l’Amour” that played in Cleveland at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, in Dayton at the Victory Theatre and in Kansas City at the Missouri Rep. She now lives mainly in Paris and Biarritz with her husband, photographer Jean-Louis Blondeau. Connect on Facebook Listen on Soundcloud


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