It could be her charming, drawling vocals or the contagious smile on Marina Christopher's face that instantly wins over fans. Just as likely, she'll draw you in with the music she makes with her Dreamboats band - an addictive blend of jazz, soul and classic pop.
With the KNKX studios full of horns for her studio session, celebrating their self-titled debut release, this award-winning bassist and singer (and composer, arranger, band leader) is earning her Golden Ear award for Emerging Artist of the Year.
Marina & the Dreamboats were bursting with excitement - even in impressively tight arrangements - with Kevin Proudfoot at the keys, Christopher Patin on drums, and six horn players along for the fun. And as much fun as they were having, it was all in service of the music.
Christopher's songs come from a love of great melodies - she grew up listening mostly to music much older than herself. Her lyrics, delivered with just the right touch of honey in her voice, are modern stories of the lives lived in the city - sometimes romantic, other times silly or awkward, always smart.
When I listen to Marina Christopher's music I'm reminded of Joni Mitchell's pop-jazz fusion and other songwriters of the era like Billy Joel or Randy Newman. Songs are difficult to write, good songs doubly so. Marina & the Dreamboats are releasing their debut album full of good songs this week, but the fun is on the stage, so see 'em live!
The band plays regular first Fridays after work at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle, their CD release party is this Friday night at the J&M Cafe in Pioneer Square. For families with young fans, catch 'em at Seattle's Waterfront Park Saturday afternoon - and on demand right here!