(Halifax, NS) – For the last decade, guitarist Chris Martin has been hard at work ensuring that the spirit of blues, swing and rockabilly is alive and well in eastern Canada. Since his debut as a solo artist in 2003, Martin has gone on to an illustrious career as a front man, producer and record label owner (Let’s Riot! Music). Martin is on the pulse if it’s hip and happening in the rockabilly community in Halifax.
He first gained widespread notoriety with The Trouble Shooters. Joined by a full band, including a brass ensemble, Martin’s Trouble Shooters were a staple of the downtown scene in Halifax throughout their duration. They released a superb full-length collection of high stakes rockabilly and loose jump blues in 2012, “A Whole ‘Nother Thang”, which earned them “Blues Recording Of The Year” nominations from the East Coast Music Association and Music Nova Scotia.
And now, as if an old soul like Martin could get any deeper down into the roots of it all, he’s decided to strip down to a grittier trio platform, featuring ex-Trouble Shooter Stu Hayward on bass duties, and drummer extraordinaire Dru Donovan. The full-length album, Young Blood, released in April 2014 features the nuanced and authentic-feeling single “12 Bar Blues (Searching For You)”, accompanied by a video that frames perfectly the kind of wild times typical of a Chris Martin show. The Trio’s live sets are tight, blending original material seamlessly with covers of classics by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, and Slim Harpo. If you’re looking for a guy to help you cut loose after a long day of the blues, look no further than Halifax’s own Chris Martin.
The band was nominated for the category “Blues Recording of the year” in 2014 at the NSMW”S and won the category for the album “Young Blood”.
(Truro, NS) – Chris Martin Interview Feb 27, 2015
Dave – Chris, the last time we talked was at this very location.
Chris – Yes, it was here at Champions bar and grill in Truro, NS during the Nova Scotia Music Week. We performed at a sold out showcase with a line around the block. We had a great time then and were hoping to again tonight.
Dave – We’re all looking forward to the show. Chris, when you were here last time at the NSMW‘S you were nominated for a category.
Chris – Yes, we were nominated for “blues recording of the year “and we won the category for album our called “young blood”.
Dave – That was your third album that you have released. Are you now working on another album?
Chris – Yes, I’m working on my fourth album now. It’s recorded, mixed and mastered. We are designing it and are getting ready to promote it this summer. It’s a solo acoustic album, it’s very dark and moody blues. It was recorded on Friday the 13th so that will be the album’s title. We still have to shoot the video for it.
Dave – So what have you been doing tour wise since winning the NSMW award?
Chris – I went on a tour of Ontario with my label mate E.B. Anderson. We toured as a duo and did seven or eight towns and most importantly, survived the trip.
Dave – I caught your Global TV interview and you mentioned going on a different kind of tour with VIA Rail? Would you tell us about this please?
Chris – We are going to be doing a program sponsored by VIA Rail called “Artist on Board“. What we are doing is entertaining the passengers on the train and stations between Halifax and Montreal and back again. E.B. Anderson and I will draw from both our music backgrounds so the music will consist of blues, rockabilly and country.
Dave – You’re opening tonight for Garrett Mason, a well respected blues man.
Chris – I have a lot of respect for Garrett. He’s such a fantastic player and singer and has a really humble personality. He has a great reputation across Canada.
Dave – What’s in your future? Will you be continuing with the band?
Chris – Absolutely! The guys, Stu Hayward and Dru Donovan are not only band members but best buddies. I’m getting married this summer to Tiffany Spencer owner of the “Lets Riot!Music” label with whom I’m signed and they are two of my groomsmen. Were definitely talking long term with the band.
Dave – Chris, It’s getting close to stage time and I don’t want to keep you from getting ready. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and supporters?
Chris – Thanks for checking us out and for your support. We’re going to come back to Ontario and set up a circuit, so we’ll see you soon.
Written and photographed by David Hodges
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