Martin Barret
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Martin Barret

| Established. Jan 01, 2005

Established on Jan, 2005
Solo Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


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Music has always been a big part of my life but, first, the perfunctory information.

I grew up with my mom and dad in a really nice part of Toronto known as Leaside. At a very young age, (2 years, 3 months and 16 days not to be specific or anything), I can remember hearing the lovely mezzo soprano voice of my mother singing funny old songs from her past. She was and still is an amazing singer though now she is surrounded by a heavenly choir.

At about 8 years old, I was given a harmonica. The first song I learned to play was Camp Town Races and, doo dah, doo dah, I was pretty much away to the races, musically speaking. I had my first solo 'gig' with that harmonica at a now-defunct resort in Muskoka's cottage country. I think I caught the performing bug there. I picked up a guitar at 14 and it was that instrument that became home to me. From the outset, my songwriting had a decidedly Christian bent. I began performing for people from all walks of life at the Yonge Street Mission in Toronto with songs I had written. In my late teens, I played mainly for Christian youth groups (always performing solo) and was able to communicate with my audiences using songs, stories and humorous illustrations.

Sadly, I lost my heart for spiritually-based music and veered away from the church, experimenting with country music for a time. My late 20s and early 30s saw me teaching guitar during the week and, on the weekends, performing live gigs with sequenced band backups that I programmed using my Yamaha SY-77. Playing Top-40 classics, I got lots of bookings and made a living, but most importantly, met my amazing wife, Nancy Douglas, at one such gig. Nancy soon joined me on stage for a few numbers playing the keys while I did my thing and we became a regularly sought-after act in venues primarily east of Toronto.

In September 2003, Matthew Marren, a friend Id know for eons, came over to jam. We decided that day (with a push from Nancy) to form a duo called The Retrofits covering the classics from the 60s through 90s. For our live shows, we used out-front guitar/piano/vocal talents in combination with home-made backtracks constructed with Cakewalks SONAR sequencing software. In 2005, we released a CD entitled Not Our Day Job. It contains twelve songs in the adult/contemporary vein with each of us contributing six original songs. One of the tunes I wrote, Then You Turned, won a top-200 placement/honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest of 2002. The CD is still available through I-Tunes and at The Retrofits, which eventually evolved to include Nancys keys, guitar and vocals, were always in demand throughout the 905 (the large Durham Region located to the north and east of Toronto). We disbanded in 2007.

Martin Barret