Nine Questions with Ali Marcus

Name: Ali Marcus

Birthplace: Albuquerque, NM

Currently residing: Seattle, WA

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: It all began at campfires, Peter, Paul and Mary and a grassy hillside overlooking the Potomac River, and the most I could ever want to do now is write and perform songs that can create that kind of sense of belonging in other people – you know, folk music.


1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

Bruce Springsteen, Carole King, Aimee Mann, REM, Patty Griffin, Fiona Apple, Langhorne Slim, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, No Doubt, Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Nields, John Denver.

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

Dar Williams has a couple: “It Happens Every Day,” and “After All” – I’m such a sucker for Dar! Also Patty Griffin’s “Forgiveness.” And I love the pretty little guitar solo in Tom Petty’s “It’s Good to be King” on the album Wildflowers, and the song “Wildflowers” as well usually brings tears to my eyes. On a different note, Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C#-minor affects me strongly, as does Chopin’s Waltz Opus 64 No.2.

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

It would have to involve some or all of the following: a hike in the mountains, an awesome book, an old friend, oysters on the half shell, blue crabs steamed in Old Bay Spice, a fancy cocktail, getting driven around, Paris, Santa Fe.

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

I’m a very loyal friend.

5. What is your most valued material possession?

Our new couch! (Am I supposed to say my guitar?)

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

I was so nervous to meet, converse, and perform with Tom Paxton! I was all alone on a park bench in Decatur, GA, anticipating this crazy meetup. He set me at ease immediately of course and we had a great time.

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

Paris! At that art store near the Jardin du Luxembourg where they sell the blank books I like, for so cheap!

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

I’d like to learn how to bake really good bread.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

In the Pacific Northwest, still in love and still making music.

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