Play this: Jack’s Road
by Lynne Hogan
Influenced by the writings of the 1950’s Beat generation, alcoholism, and Calgary band The Dudes, songwriter Conrad Marion wrote “Jack’s Road,” his first original song. Written when surfacing from a dark romance with liquor, “Jack’s Road” is a bleak, barebones song with affecting lyrics evocative of the morbidity, loneliness and addiction that can come with introspective personal assessment and rough times. A former student of MRU’s bachelor of education program, Marion is taking time out from school and moving to Toronto to further pursue music, joining former bandmate Jake Swain’s new band Chambers.
“The first line of this song is the first line of a Jack Kerouac draft that became On the Road,” Marion said.
Marion’s entry into songwriting was born out of the now-defunct Leather Jacket Club, a four-piece indie-rock band and their short period as a local fixture as one of the city’s promising up and comers. The band formed after Marion’s and Leather Jacket lead singer Swain’s whirlwind weekend spent partying with local indie titans, The Dudes. After spending time with The Dudes’ Dan Vacon, Marion and Swain were inspired to start making their own guitar-driven music. While “Jack’s Road” deviates from The Leather Jacket Club’s pop-rock sound, its grim tone is punctuated by its hopeful, melodic chorus even as Marion sings, “liquid love will steal your heart from your chest and leave in its place the materialization of everything that’s gone wrong with your life.”