BEYOND THE BLUES
ALEX MARYOL SHREDS HIS STEREOTYPE
By: Alex De Vore 03/11/2009
Alex Maryol is probably the nicest person I have ever met in my life—take that, grandma! That he’s so nice makes it hard to hate him, though I’ve tried. He’s one of those people who is so good at what he does that I kind of want to hate him. I mean, believe me, this guy is so good at the guitar and so good looking that I’m calling him “Shreddy Prinze Jr.” from now on.
Story by Emily Drabanski
Santa Fe’s Alex Maryol, 28, has earned a reputation as a rip-roarin’ blues guitarist with his albums They Call Me Lefty and Make Everything Alright, but in Face the Day he shows a more mainstream pop/rock side. His new songs are more introspective and closer in genre to those of John Mayer than his earlier work, which was more in the vein of Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
He may only be in his 20s, but Alex Maryol is quickly becoming an authentic blues legend. He has been frequenting Telluride since taking second place at the Blues and Brews solo competition over five years ago. A native of Santa Fe, N.M., Maryol is one of the region’s most promising musicians and songwriters.
Known for an indefatigable, single-minded dedication to his craft, Maryol says playing music is no more nor less than a basic part of who he is: “The bulk of my career has been all writing my own stuff. Lately I’ve been trying to hone my writing skills as best as I can, because I realize…this is just what I do. It’s not anything great. Its like: you write, my dad makes food, my brother makes food. Everyone’s got their thing. It’s just I write and I perform.”
His easy breezy confidence in his own uncomplicated identity–a Santa Fean and a musician–might be a bit on the safe side for an artist whose musical style is traditionally about lost, out-of-your-element, self-destructive, low-down, blue moments of absolute self-loathing…but give him time for the grit. An uncertain future sure to be fraught with the innumerable pitfalls of trying to make it in the music business holds all the despair and angst one man really needs.
Singer/songwriter Alex Maryol is as all-American a hometown boy as Santa Fe could have. He’s tall and well-built, with clear blue eyes set over a wholesome grin. He loves football, particularly the Denver Broncos, and if he’s not playing gigs or recording tracks he can usually be found watching it with his dad. But rock ‘n’ roll is Maryol’s one true love. “I’ve always—always—wanted to play music professionally,” says the 27-year-old, set to graduate this year with a degree in music performance from the College of Santa Fe. To that end, Maryol is constantly honing his craft and touring regularly, with two albums under his belt. He’s hailed as one of the best local guitar players, but also reads poetry and analyzes the lyrics of his favorite songwriters, like John Mayer, mining them for their gifts. But if Maryol has had music in him since infancy—his mother tells him he’d lift his head in his crib at the slightest tune—it may be nurture as much as nature. His parents (founders of Tia Sofia’s) aren’t musicians, although they did expose him to music. “Mom was playing Mozart for me when I was four and dad was playing Chuck Berry,” he recalls. Yet it’s performing where Maryol really feels at home. “You feel like John Elway,” he says.