Stuart Martz’s career spans over two decades and three continents. He scored international critical acclaim with the CD, Threesome Reel (Rounder/Universal), described by England's Rock and Reel magazine as “a contemporary Celtic Rock Masterpiece”. An in-demand session player, Martz has recorded on a plethora of independent and international releases as guest artist including a collaboration with multi-platinum nashville songwriter, Costas. Live, he has appeared with artists such as Richard Thompson, Mary Black, Martin Hayes, Black 47, The Young Dubliners, Paddy Reilly, Daithi Sproule (Altan), The Makem Brothers, Tommy Makem, Liza Carthy, Phil Solem (The Rembrandts), Tommy Stinson (The Replacements), Slim Dunlap (The Replacements), Spider John Koerner, and Vassar Clements. He has performed in concert and at festivals throughout North America and Europe, as well as a U.S. State Dept. good will tour of Morocco. Ever diverse, He has also composed music for theater ("Ludlow") and television comercials ("Celestial Seasonings").
Performing for audiences long before he was old enough to get into the clubs he was playing, Martz jokes that he "never had to have a paper route". During the late 80's he played solo, founded his first trio "Stuart Martz and the Folkheads" and co-founded a duo called the Ceilidh Cowboys with Scotsman Donny MacDonald, now of Men Of Worth fame. He also attended University College Galway and was awarded the prestigious Watson Foundation Fellowship for his work with traditional music. His first full length album, Collected, was released in 1990, and included guest appearances by longtime friends John Van Orman, and Todd Menton, front man of Boiled in Lead. Martz relocated to Minneapolis the following year, and was joined by Menton, who later left "BiL" to concentrate on Martz and Menton full time. During this time, Martz also toured with The Irish Brigaide, and The Full Schilling, and performed with All Ireland champion, Sean O'Driscoll (The Irish Rovers). Following Menton's departure after several years of particularly heavy booking schedules for the duo, Martz returned to his roots, performing solo, and with his "electro-celtic power trio", The Stuart Martz Band, earning three Minnesota Music Awards nominations for "Best World/Folk Artist" in the process, and inking a distribution deal with Rounder Records.
His most recent albums, Threesome Reel, and the upcoming Hungry Streets of Home, include backing tracks by colleagues and bandmates, and feature guest appearances by Bohola's Pat Broaders (Shanachie Records) , and All Ireland flute champion Sean Conway.
Now based in the L.A. area, additional projects have included stints as a touring member of Tempest (fiddle) and, most recently, The Fenians (lead vocals, guitar, fiddle, backing vocals, songwriter).
Here’s What They Say:
A contemporary Celtic Rock masterpiece.
Rock ‘n’ Reel (UK)
Hot shot guitarist….Martz delivers in a way (Richard) Thompson and (Mark) Knopfler will never be able to : Martz plays a mean fiddle as well.
All Music Guide
Fascinating . . . promising and exciting electric folk.
Dirty Linen (US)
Stylish and Potent.
Twin Cities Reader (US)
Genuine, well-played, powerful, and thoroughly engaging.
Music Review Quarterly (US)
. . . Kick Ass . . .
Folk Roots (UK)
A voyage of discovery . . . praise from critics and musicians alike.
The Irish American Post (US)
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in a bagpipe with the Chieftains and half of U2.
10 out of 10.
(Fairport Convention/Jethro Tull)
Captures all that is best in Celtic Rock Music.
(All Ireland Fiddle Champion/Green Linnet recording artist)