Holywood - Northern Ireland
Martin began his musical career playing guitar for a three piece band called Witch Hazel. They covered well known rock classics, hit songs from the time and also wrote original material. And so the journey begins . . . . .
Witch Hazel played their first gig together at a local high school before quickly progressing to the pub and club circuit. Martin reflects upon this time as being very exciting and says that the various experiences gained then had a positive influence on his future musical development, both as a songwriter and as a musician.
Later, he got his first taste of a professional recording studio when he was invited by a producer to record an instrumental cover version of the T.Rex classic “Get It On”. The track was included on a tribute album that featured various artists worldwide and was released by an independent UK label. It received excellent reviews at the time.
Another memorable moment was jamming on stage with Blues guitarist Eric Bell, of Thin Lizzy’s “Whiskey In The Jar” fame. It was an impromptu event made possible thanks to “A Spoonful Of Blues” guitarist Robert Dougherty who loaned Martin his guitar on the night. Robert also invited Martin to play The Cork Jazz & Blues Festival with him.
After returning to college as a mature student, (where he achieved qualifications in Media Studies & a National Diploma in Performing Arts - Music), Martin visited Nashville - Tennessee. During a seminar hosted by the Nashville Songwriters Association International Martin and his fellow songwriters had their work critiqued by various hit songwriters such as Hugh Prestwood and Jason Blume. Definitely a valuable experience.
Hamburg - Germany
Since moving to Germany Martin enjoys performing his solo acoustic set at some excellent venues and has had the pleasure of opening for international artists such as Ray Wilson (ex Genesis) and Barry Mc Cabe at The Blues Garage in Hannover. Also, Them - The Belfast Blues Band and Abi Wallenstein at The Downtown Blues Club in Hamburg,
His skilfully executed performance which includes both original compositions and cover versions from various genres has always been well received by fans of live music. Although he usually performs solo, occasionally when respective schedules allow, Martin enjoys performing on stage with other competent musicians too.
As a songwriter, his music has been showcased on various radio stations worldwide and one of his published ballads, a song titled "Handle With Care", has been covered and released on three different albums in Japan. One of the albums reached a Top 30 HMV chart position. As a composer Martins instrumental work has featured on several independent short films - festival use.
When not rehearsing for gigs he continues to write, co-write, and record new material. And so the journey continues . . . . .
No pretence, simply material that can last and is ripe for interpretation by those in need of a good tune and intelligent lyric. Great stuff. (That's A Fact)
Refreshing blues and stinging tales of love and regret. Crisply produced, superbly played acoustic guitar. Country blues of the highest quality. (Que Sera Sera)
Many thanks for your time, best wishes, Martin.