Roots & Sprouts: Mamma’s Marmalade



Visit Band Website »

See the Full Lineup »

About Mamma’s Marmalade

Mamma’s Marmalade started in a UMass dorm room when Sexton (fiddle) and Mitch Bordage (mandolin) bonded over bluegrass. In 2016, the pair were participating at an open mic when a tall young man named Sean Davis asked to join them on stage for a tune. Davis’s tenacious flatpicking caught their attention immediately. “The guitar is an incredibly integral part of any band, but within bluegrass, a guitarist has to fill so many roles,” says Sexton. “They have to be rhythmic magicians, and sometimes you get lucky with the rare player who can take leads as well.” With his expansive understanding of the fretboard, improvisational skill, and exquisite timing, Davis was the full package. “I was in school for mathematics when I met them, but I was miserable with it,” says Davis. “I wanted to be a musician, I just didn’t know it completely. They helped me recognize my true calling and I quickly adopted the mindset that I had to do music full-time.” He joined later that year and the band released their debut album Goodbye, Black Velvet, the following summer. In 2019 the band released their sophomore LP Rockabee Fields. “You can really hear the ways we were stretching and exploring on those first two records,” says Sexton. “We gigged so much in those days, learning the life of a touring band as we went along.” That time on the road paid big dividends. We’ve spent years honing our improv skills, our instrumental tone, our ability to harmonize, our rhythm, and our energy to create a compelling live show,” says Davis.

The pandemic years produced two albums while the band was off the road. Rabbit Analog (2021), recorded in a live room setting, is equal parts inviting, dark, and tender. Fakin’ It: Covers Deserving Coverage (2022) was an opportunity to stretch creatively for the group. Not only were the artists crafting 70’s rock’n’roll songs into bluegrass pieces; each track features some of the best players in the genre, including Twisted Pine and Jacob Jolliff.

In 2023, the band found their missing piece (as many fans will enthusiastically articulate) in bassist Josh Ballard. Ballard immediately captivates audiences with his deep grooves, creative soloing techniques, and rich, warm tone.

Regardless of their relative virtuosity at the beginning of their adventure, today Mamma’s Marmalade is composed of a group of artists that know how to work together as one. They will begin recording their fifth studio album this summer.

Verified by MonsterInsights