Armand St. Martin, a native 10th generation New Orleanian loves his hometown. One critic in Los Angeles, Cindy Lamb, wrote, "If cut, this musician would bleed tabasco!" She also penned that St. Martin is "the keyboard blurrrr!" Quite true, as St. Martin puts other New Orleans piano players to shame when it comes to fast and to accurate ivory-performances! Jon Black, music critic out of Austin, Tx, wrote that St. Martin performed the most intricate and impressive rockabilly solo on keyboards that as a critic, Black had ever seen in his own career! He also called St. Martin in print, "an iconic keyboard player" and "a formidible piano player." For more incredible reviews of St. Martin's music worth, you can check out "reviews" on his custom, boutique label formed by St. Martin and his wife, named after her, Patty Lee Records.
This husband-wife team has worked tiredlessly to bring St. Martin's popular originals to the public, with three CDs on their label, "Alligator Ball," "Sizzlin'," and "Katrina Anthem." Also, an EP cassette was released on their label, "Be Your Own Parade" with those songs which were then incorporated as "bonus tracks" into the 17-original-songs on "Alligator Ball." Not to mention their 45-single on vinyl featuring two original St. Martin gems, "St. Expedite," and "Must Be the Mardi Gras!" They've also released their music video to "Must Be the Mardi Gras!" which was filmed at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans, with the assistance of Vivian Cahn, and Elvin Jones, as well as Patty Lee.
St. Martin and Lee enjoyed putting out their funtime "Black and Gold in the Super Bowl," a music video to his original song about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Saints having the same football colors. It was entered into public record in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh City Council President and City Finance Director. Another song up on the internet is St. Martin's "Watching the River Boats Go By" which he penned with prolific Nashville songwriter, Micheal Smotherman, who St. Martin toured with in the early 80's when Smotherman was promoting a self-titled album on Epic Records. It was on this tour that St. Martin was spotted by the "15 Minutes of Fame" legend, Andy Warhol, who encouraged St. Martin "to go solo and be his own frontman" which St. Martin ultimately did several years later after this inspiration and after writing several sets of new original Louisiana-genre'd material. His music video for the making of his cover art for "Alligator Ball" is on vimeo, along with other music performances not to miss.
St. Martin's original music is as fresh today as when he first recorded with his hard-hitting band of music pros. His players on his recorded material as well as some of these players in his live shows, include the late-Danny Federici on accordion (from Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band), Kenny Gradney of Little Feat on bass, drummer Kirk Bruner from Melissa Manchester and Mac Davis, Lon Price on sax from Elvis days, Dony Wynn on drums from Robert Palmer, Marabina Jaimes on back-up vocals who won an Emmy for her starring role on Storytime for PBS, Hedy Mayer on back-up vocals who has recorded with Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Samantha Newark on back-up vocals who has been back-ups for Leonard Cohen, Steve Allen on sax who played with Rita Coolidge, Lee Thornburg on trumpet from the Tower of Power, Stanley Behrens on harmonica and sax who played with Willie Dixon, Canned Heat and War, and Paul DeVilliers on guitar who produced Yes, and Mr. Mister, to list a few. St. Martin writes his own material, plays the keyboards, and is lead vocalist. Patty Lee is always a co-producer, and she also produced "Katrina Athem." (On "Potholes and Politicians" St. Martin produced this, sang it, and created the entire soundtrack for it.)
St. Martin's piano playing is a modern roots style based on the traditional New Orleans masters. St. Martin and Lee own their own analog recording studio where most of his music is recorded. His uptempo approach to songwriting is refreshing and memorable, along with his penchant to write other songs for his recorded material that are fast-becoming classics like "Other Girls Don't," "Stand on the Side of Love," "Creole Good-by," and "That's the Way in Your Heart" (to list a few) which fall into a category of heart-felt songs for those in love.
What creates this St. Martin style is what St. Martin has coined, his "Pan Louisiana Sound" which encompasses all the Louisiana musical genres he grew up with and then began playing from the time he was performing professionally in clubs starting at the age of 16. His CDs carry all these varieties of styles, giving one a sense of a complete Louisiana experience when listening to an entire album of his rather than just a song at a time - - although either way is uplifting and entertaining. His piano style follows in the footsteps of Fats, Booker, Washington, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, Toussaint, and more Louisiana greats.
His intelligent lyrics are filled with fun, as well as feeling. Educated in all the music theory, as a mathematics genius, that Loyola and Tulane Universities offered as a college-aged young man, he then created one-on-one master-leveled classes with his professor at Loyola. His further education in music included Wolftrap for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. for music with dance, and film scoring at UCLA in the Master Class there. His slogan, "Have Piano Will Travel!" He has managed to play 200-250 shows a year annually in New Orleans, many shows are pro bono to give back to the community he loves, ever since Katrina. His awards are many, including being presented with a Proclamation from the City Council of New Orleans for his "ongoing musical contributions to the City of New Orleans."
For more information about Armand St. Martin, or Armand St. Martin's Maison C'est Bon Jazz Trio, or Armand St. Martin and his Bayou Bohemians, check out Patty Lee Records on the internet, or google his name or go to Armand St. Martin's myspace page! St. Martin and Lee are also "Trying to Make Mardi Gras a National Holiday!" - - an ongoing brainchild campaign of theirs since 1984. They also produce their annual "Katrina Artistically Revisited" special commemorative special multi-media event every year since Katrina at the Theatres at Canal Place in New Orleans.
His newest song, "Potholes and Politicians" was premiered February 2012 at the Eiffel Society in New Orleans at Politics with a Punch and is available on CDBaby and iTunes. Tell your friends! Thanks! Have a happy day! - Patty Lee, New Orleans