The Philadelphia region is home to some of the music industry’s most eclectic and talented artists.
Artists like G. Love , Patti LaBelle and Joan Jett have called Philly home. Another musician we can add to the list of talent is up and coming singer-songwriter Todd Martin.
Originally from the Phoenixville area and a graduate of Villanova University, Martin is back in Philadelphia after spending three years in Boston.
On Friday, Sept.16, Martin played at his favorite hometown pub, The All-Star Café, in Gilbertsville (a small suburb about 45 minutes out of the city). After the fans and friends dispersed, Martin put down his guitar and talked about his new album, his new tour and returning to the City of Brotherly Love.
“Philadelphia is a great central point for any touring artist on the East Coast. [Philadelphia] is right where I need to be. My family lives here as well. So I just really wanted to come back to this area.” He added, “I’d really like to explore the [music] scene. World Café Live is a great place, I played there with Brad Saville. I also really love playing Grape Street with a full band,” Martin said.
He’s on the road in support of his second studio album Time for Good, the follow up to his acoustic record How It Is That I’m Alone. Time for Good is a full band release and Martin said he could not be more excited to get it out to people. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever recorded. I’m so proud of it,” he said.
“It’s the most fun I’ve had legally in a long time,” he said. Led by producer Dave Chalfant, Martin had only the highest praise for him.
“He’s an excellent producer, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. We’d record from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; I’d go to sleep and do it all over again. He knew how to push me with this record, but he knew how to push me gently.”
The end result? An album that definitely redefines his sound.
“It’s a really diverse album for me,” Martin said. “There are some upbeat songs, then there are some back-porch Bluegrass-style songs.”
Martin added that the sound on his current album differed from his previous album.
“This CD is a lot less about a person. How It Is That I’m Alone was about one girl and that can get depressing and redundant,” Martin said.
Martin also said Time for Good let him become more rock n’ roll.
“Typically, I play very chilled out acoustic guitar, but with this record I pulled out an electric and just hammered on it.”
With his new album in tow and a consistent touring line-up, Martin said he hopes to make some new fans and see some familiar ones along the way.
When asked what it’s like to see his fans singing the words to his songs he said, “There’s nothing cooler than that. When I see someone singing back the words that I’ve written, it’s a really powerful thing. I just don’t like when they’re better singers than I am.”
Martin gave some advice to anyone with dreams of becoming a musician:
“Play what you love to listen to, go to open mic nights, play coffee houses. Submerge yourself in music to understand where you really want to go. Once you know that, you can go anywhere.”
His CD is available through his Web site, www.toddmartinmusic.com. Martin will open for Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers on Friday Oct. 7 at Theater of Lving Arts on South Street. Tickets are on sale at the TLA box office.
Aly Semigran can be reached at email@example.com.