Marino Bartholomew Roberts, a descendant of the great pirate Bartholomew Roberts, was born in the Port of Hull, England. Hours spent listening to greats like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton inspired the feisty teenager to learn guitar. Not far into his 15th year, Marino found himself playing the blues in the local strip joints, honing his craft and making money to help support his family.
After moving south to London at age 17, he started gigging in pubs and clubs, eventually landing at the famous Marquee Club. He was a favourite of the Marquee, not only headlining regularly, but opening for acts like Thin Lizzy and ZZ Top and blues legends Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Winter.
He soon formed “Marino the band”, a band which derived its name from the immensely talented guitarist. After touring much of the UK with the band, they earned the attention of Revolver Records. The label developed an admiration for the talented guitarist, and despite the addition of Marino’s sister Lisa Dominique, as well as the name change of the band to reflect the new singer, the band were signed in 1987.
Despite a mixed reception to the Lisa Dominique releases, the guitarist’s reputation came out largely in-tact, often cited as the stand-out performer in the band. Following Lisa’s second album, he set on his own solo career in 1990, also signing with Revolver Records.
His debut solo album, After Forever’s Gone (1990), received a fantastic critical and fan reception. It is considered his best album, featuring some virtuosic and creative guitar work. Despite exceptional reviews from Kerrang, and other highly regarded publications, the album struggled to chart, and it is considered to have received the commercial success it deserved.
However, Marino’s follow up LP, Blues For Lovers (1991) showed the guitarist in a different light. The music departed from the debut album’s style, opting for a bluesier edge, more akin to Marino’s idol, Santana. While reviews were not as kind to this album, it serves an excellent addition to his collection, displaying his breadth of capabilities.
Encouraged by his friendship and recording sessions with celebrated guitarist, and hometown mate, Mick Ronson (David Bowie, Bob Dylan), Marino began recording albums for BMG/FM Records, having both sales and chart success in Europe, South Africa and Asia. While still in England, he realised a lifelong dream and was invited to play at the Royal Albert Hall with longtime friend and mentor Carlos Santana.
The inspiration of Marino’s European successes led him to move to America, where he continued to evolve as a performer and songwriter. Following several notable performances in Los Angeles, he came to the attention of award-winning record producer Alan Abrahams (Joan Baez, Les McCan, Ladysmith, Black Mambazo). Together they created Marino Soundwaves “In This Corner“. This collection includes songs written or co-written by Marino, as well as material by South African group Stimela, Carlos Santana, Les McCan and the R & B classic “Clean Up Woman”. Many legendary musicians collaborated on the album, and it is one of his most iconic works.
Marino continues to write music as well as heading the music for healing foundation “Angels On Earth”. In addition, Marino is an in-demand guitarist often found recording with more great musicians.