Phifer Marshall Band - Powerhouse Blues

Some of my best friends play in bar bands.

Perhaps more so than any other genre of music, great blues/rock acts are born from bar bands. These bands are at the very forefront of the blues/rock scene, laboring in the trenches, immensely talented, building a loyal and rabid fan base one person at a time. Many labor for most of their career in relative obscurity though their sound and skill are high quality. As I have traveled the internet highways of the past 10 or so years, I have come to the conclusion that there is almost an unlimited number of great local and
regional blues/rock bands in almost every corner of the globe.

The Richmond, VA based Phifer Marshall Band is just such an act. Blending elements of blues/rock, Chicago Blues, and R&B into a classic rock type sound, the band is steadily building a loyal regional following with their brand of music which I will label as “fun” music. Rather than attempting to dissect everything about their work, let me state that it is simply enjoyable, whether you may enjoy dancing, listening, or just tapping your toes along with it. The band is made up of Mattie Phifer on gutsy vocals, guitar and harmonica, Rick Marshall on polished and tasteful guitar, a most enjoyable Greg Willard on bass, and rock steady Dave McNeer on drums.

“Powerhouse Blues” is the band’s initial release and serves as a very good sampling of their combined talents. The 8 tracks are all original tunes, penned primarily by Phifer and Marshall, with contributions from other band mates as well. There are some more classic sounding Chicago blues style tunes along with some edgier rock flavored numbers. I particularly enjoy “Sold My Soul” which features some excellent harp and vocal work by Ms. Phifer, the lively blues number “Don’t Do That No Mo”, the classic rock ballad “After The Party”, with the heavy guitar driven “I Got It Bad” perhaps being my personal favorite.

Check out the band live and in person if you are in the beautiful Richmond, VA area and be sure to visit with them online for info and sound samples at

Tom Branson

The Band:

Mattie Phifer: vocals, harmonica, guitar
Rick Marshall: guitar
Greg Willard: bass
Dave McNeer: drums


1. Don’t Do That No Mo - 2. Please Call Daddy - 3. Mill Hill Midge - 4. You Don’t Know What I Mean 5. All Alone - 6. I Got It Bad - 7. Sold My Soul - 8. After The Party

2005 Phifer Marshall Band
© Bluesrockers 2004