Eddie Martin

Born: Russellville, AL

Jazz Songwriter

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame



Martin records new album

Published 6:28pm Friday, January 14, 2011


Russellville native Eddie Martin had no idea he would someday be completely immersed in the music industry when he graduated from Russellville High School in 1983.

Even though his love for music began at an early age as he listened to his parents, Glenn and Billie, sing an harmonize when they would drive in their car, Martin didn’t feel the music truly pulling on him until after he graduated high school and entered college.

“When I was in high school, I was a writer. I had been a writer for as long as I can remember,” Martin said. “I wasn’t a part of the band or the chorus. I loved music but I didn’t look at it as a career path then.”

But during his sophomore year at the University of North Alabama, Martin could not deny that we wanted music to be more than just a small part of his life. He quickly changed his major and entered into the college’s commercial music program.

“Once I knew I wanted to pursue songwriting and singing, I tried to make sure that I put myself around other songwriters in the business,” Martin said. “I began volunteering at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame when they had their office at Wishbone Studios, and that volunteer job led to a part-time job at the studio itself.”

Martin’s willingness to volunteer and do whatever it took to perfect his craft ultimately began to pay off.

While working at the studio, Martin began to work with his first professional songwriter, Brandon Barnes, and the partnership would last for several years.

During this time, Martin began to work on his first project – a nine-song “pop and R&B” cassette called “In the Mood to Grove.”

“Most of the initial music I worked on was in the pop and R&B vein,” Martin said. “I was hanging out with those kinds of writers back then when R&B was very song-oriented.

“Actually, my biggest commercial success was in pop and R&B with Brian McKnight when I was working with a studio and production company out of Huntsville.”

Even though Martin got his start in the pop and R&B genre, he describes his musical tastes and influences as being very “eclectic.”

“My dad listened to pure country music – artists like Hank Williams and Merle Haggard – so that’s what I grew up hearing,” Martin said. “But when I got older, I fell in love with artists like Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac and Billy Joel. I also loved jazz music and enjoyed watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on TV.

“My musical taste was all over the map. I just loved anything that was song-oriented.”

Martin said that right now, he is more interested in exploring what he called “Americana” music, which is how he describes the music on his newest album “Untethered.”

“Some people think the album has a country feel, and I can see why they would say that,” Martin said. “Most country music today doesn’t sound like the true country music I was raised on.”

Martin said that, unlike the “fluffy” country music that tends to play on the radio these days, the music on “Untethered” is not overly processed and focuses on the songs themselves.

“Even though we used technology to produce this album, every instrument was played by a real person,” he said. “There was no cover up or correcting. It was just real people playing real music.”

According to Martin, these “real people” that helped him with the album are the best part about the whole process.

“My whole life, I’ve always liked throwing people together in creative situations and trying to make something out of it,” he said. “The collaboration is what I really enjoy.”

For this album, Martin once again joined forces with Daniel Beard, a co-producer Martin first met 14 years ago when Beard was the house engineer and studio manager at Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals.

“Daniel has pretty much become my right hand man in the studio,” Martin said. “He primarily helped with production work on this album and was instrumental in its completion.”

Beard was so instrumental, in fact, that the summer release date for the album was pushed back due to Beard’s unexpected health issues.

“Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year and had major brain surgery in Los Angeles in June,” Martin said. “I went out for the week of the surgery to support him. Delaying a project is nothing compared to the health of a friend.”

While Beard was recovering, Martin utilized the help of some new and old creative friends that stepped in to fill some of the gaps.

“I was able to keep working on the album at other studios, but I didn’t want to completely finish the project without Daniel.”

Martin and Beard, along with co-writer and co-producer Malcolm Singleton and a whole host of other musical and creative talents, completed the album that “tells a story,” Martin said.

“I am at a reflective age in my life and this album represents many personal aspects of my life that I’ve gone through,” he said.

“This project made me look back – all the way back – and realize that this process is just who I am. I really feel like I’ve rediscovered the depth of what creative collaboration means to me.”

“Untethered” is the fifth personal album Martin has released but his love for the collaborative process has allowed him to be involved with numerous other projects for different artists, such as local musician Kerry Gilbert’s solo album he helped produce this year.

“The realization that I’ve come to is that, as much as I love writing, I’m much more interested in co-writing,” Martin said. “The camaraderie that comes with working with other people and the moments that occur during that process are precious to me.”

Martin said he plans to keep writing and collaborating and he already has his next project in the works.

“I’m already heavy into pre-production with some guys from my band I worked with this summer,” he said. “We’re calling ourselves the Wildwood Ruminators. Russellville-native John Jackson will be playing the guitar and Tony Lee is a multi-instrumentalist who was in the local Celtic group Full Moon Ensemble.

“We each bring very different musical tastes and influences to the plate so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. We hope to be supporting that music live by late spring.”

Martin appreciates the continued support of his family, all of which are Russellville natives: his mother, Billie; his sister and brother-in-law, Lisa and Doug Clement; and his two nieces, Bonnie Marshall and Britney Brush.

“The have always encouraged and supported me. They know why I do what I do. It’s not for the money or the fame.

“Bonnie has two kids now and her oldest little girl is starting to sing some of those same songs that I started out listening to,” Martin said. “It’s cool to see that happen and to have her realize that Uncle Eddie sings.”

Martin has received recognition over the years for his musical talent.

In 2005, Martin produced a version of the song “I’m Gone” for a local female artist. The song won the Best of Showcase Series award from the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame National Academy of Popular Music for that year.

Martin decided to include his version of the song on his new album, which is now available for purchase from several locations.

Martin’s “Untethered” album can be purchased at Audrey’s Gifts and Home Décor in Russellville, at CDBaby.com or through Martin himself. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Source: Martin records new album | The Franklin County Times

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