No Surf Music


The No Surf Review


The Lowdown:

Marley's Ghost

Based In:
West Coast



Interview Subjects:
Jerry Fletcher (keyboards/accordion/drums/vocals), Ed Littlefield, Jr. (pedal steel/guitar/vocals), Mike Phelan (guitar/dobro/bass/vocals), Dan Wheetman (bass/harmonica/vocals), Jon Wilcox (mandolin/guitar/vocals)

Interview Date:
August 6, 2011

Interview Location:
Lakewood, Ohio

Haunting Melodies (1987), Let De Groove Rise Up (1989), Ghost Country (1991), Gospel: How Can I Keep From Singing (1992), Four Spacious Guys (1996), Across The River(1998), Live at The Freight (2001), Spooked (2007), Ghost Town (2010)

Americana, country, folk, blues, reggae


Related Articles:

Marley's Ghost



October 12, 2011


Marley's Ghost: Jerry Fletcher, Ed Littlefield, Jr., Mike Phelan, Dan Wheetman & Jon Wilcox

by Jason D. 'Diesel' Hamad


Marley's Ghost relaxes down by the riverside. (l-r) Mike Phelen, Dan Wheetman, Jerry Fletcher, Ed Littlefield, Jr. & Jon Wilcox.

Marley’s Ghost. The name brings up images of a Dickensian tale, of cold winter nights, clanking chains, and a miserly old codger taught a lesson. But that’s not the Marley in question. No, the Marley we’re talking about was a self-described dreadlocked rasta who made some of the most transcendent music man has ever known. He’s the inspiration behind the name of the band, not to mention a great deal of the music they play.

But Marley’s Ghost isn’t a reggae band. Neither are they a bluegrass band, nor a country band, nor a blues band, nor a gospel band, nor a rock band. Their music encompasses all of these genres, sometimes leaning towards one or another, sometimes taking little bits from several and fusing them all together. What they really are is a folk band, the kind that can take whatever music they happen to like and make it their own. Whatever they play, Marley’s Ghost music just sounds like Marley’s Ghost.

With over twenty-five years playing as a group and literally hundreds of years combined experience as musicians, producers, teachers and more, there’s no shortage of talent when they take the stage or sit down in the studio. All five of the band’s members are multi-instrumentalists and all five sing, allowing them to call upon a staggering diversity of instrumentation (including—occasionally—the bagpipes) and harmonic possibilities.

Still, Marley’s Ghost just isn’t that well known. Over the years they’ve built up a loyal cult following on the West Coast, where all the members live and where they play most of their shows, but much of the rest of the country hasn’t caught on. Maybe it’s because they are so hard to classify. There’s no bluegrass/country/blues/gospel/rock/reggae/folk section at the local record store. Maybe it’s because in a world where Lady Gaga is considered a musician, there’s just no room for a band that plays real music on real instruments with real reverence and without all the hype. Who knows?

What’s certain is that if you don’t know Marley’s Ghost you’re missing out on some great music. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just hearing about them now, here’s your chance to find out what they’re all about.

Marley’s Ghost sat down with No Surf Music for a Burning River Fireside chat in August, 2011 when they stopped by Lakewood, Ohio to play a show at the Winchester Music Hall. We discussed their long career, their musical philosophy, their new record and more. We even got some great stories about the Dean of Nashville Producers, Cowboy Jack Clement. So sit back by the fire, relax, and get ready to get your chat on.



For a taste of Marley's Ghost, buy Ghost Town on Amazon!
mp3 cd



No Pop. No Crap. No Surf.