Marshall Styler grew up in his birthplace of Rochester, NY, the grandson of a vaudeville pianist and took up the piano himself when he was 12.
By the age of 15, he had put together his first band to play jazz, but switched to rock & roll, and to the electric piano, after the British Invasion. In 1967, he formed the psychedelic group Lincoln Zephyr, which opened for Jimi Hendrix
. Styler briefly moved to California, then returned to Rochester, where, using his full name of Marshall James Styler, he founded the hard rock band Duke Jupiter
, for which he served as co-lead singer, primary songwriter, and keyboardist, in 1973. The group released seven albums on major labels between 1978 and 1985, only one of which, 1984's White Knuckle Ride, made the charts. (They also had two chart singles, "I'll Drink to You" in 1982 and "Little Lady" in 1984, both written by Styler.) "Don't You Look at Me Like That," which Styler wrote for the album Duke Jupiter 1 (actually their fourth LP), was covered by Meat Loaf
on his 1983 album Midnight at the Lost and Found. Duke Jupiter
broke up in 1986, and Styler moved to Austin, TX, where he turned from rock to new age music. He released Camden Road, his first solo album of instrumental pieces played on synthesizers, in 1991. In 1995, he recorded Bluefields, the first of a trilogy of albums reflecting on, as he put it, "my impressions of the people and places in Texas I have come to know and loved since crossing the Red River for the first time in 1986." The second album in the series was Mockingbird Station, in 1996, and the trilogy was completed by Red River Crossing in 1998. (In 2005, the three albums were packaged and released together as a box set.) In the meantime, Styler recorded a Christmas album, Silent Night, released in 1997. Jericho appeared in 2003, followed by The Twilight Concertos in 2004, and, in 2007, A Face in the Clouds. Dreamaker, a DVD combining Styler's music with photographs by James Innes, also was released in 2007. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi