American singer/songwriter Bob Martin was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1942. Emerging from the same New England city as Jack Kerouac, Martin was heavily influenced by the beat poet's writing. While attending college in Boston during the 1960s, he was drawn in by the Cambridge folk scene and frequently played the Nameless Coffeehouse, Club 47 (now Club Passim) and eventually migrated to the thriving Greeenwich folk scene of New York City.
It was in 1972, fifteen years after Kerouac's On The Road was published, that Bob Martin made his first album Midwest Farm Disaster for RCA Records in Nashville. He worked with Chet Atkins, an executive at RCA at the time and exceptional studio musicians including drummer Kenneth Buttrey, a player on Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde album.
In 1974, he "dropped out" of pop culture and moved to a farm in West Virginia with his family. He continued to write songs, poetry, novels and pursued his muse through various artistic endeavors. In 1982, he recorded his second album, Last Chance Rider for June Appal Records of Whitesburg,KY. The record was recognized as one of the top three folk albums in the country by the National Assoc of Independent Record Distributors. Martin however chose to play music on his own terms and never pursued the music business as a way of life.
It was another ten years, until the release of his third album in 1997. This album, The River Turns the Wheel, contained backing vocals by Bill Morrissey and Cormac McCarthy and was on Martin's own label, Riversong Records. This may be considered Bob Martin's most commercially successful album to date. Despite his passivity toward the music biz, "The River Turns The Wheel" was noticed by music critics around the country. The CD reached number sixteen on the Gavin Americana Chart and was chosen one of the top ten albums in 1997 by Brad Kava of The San Jose Mercury News. Dave Perry of The Lowell Sun chose it as the best folk album of 1997 and Tom Flannery of The Electric City News also picked it as the best CD of that year. He toured nationally and opened for Merle Haggard in 1999.
Martin didn't wait quite so long to release his fourth album. "Next To Nothin" was put out on Riversong Records in 2000, and received more rave critical reviews and extensive airplay on Americana radio programs around the country.
In 2006 Martin completed his first non-fiction novel and he continues to perform nationally and internationally.