Martin Stephenson

Martin Stephenson

 Invergordon, Scotland, GBR
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Established Folk Pop Troubadour with amazing back catalogue of original classics. Pioneer to many and a nurturer of talent. Whether solo or in a band Martin has the Joy to Give.

Biography

Martin Stephenson...
Martin is an outstanding singer and songwriter, whose career in music now stretches back over thirty years of critical acclaim and relentless touring. Born in County Durham in the Northeast of England on the 27th July 1961, Martin was initially fired up to play in a band when the punk rock phenomenon went over ground in the late 1970's. Then as now, Martins free spirit incorporated a love for an eclectic range of musical styles, from rockabilly and bluegrass, through to straight-ahead rock and full tilt punk. He convened his band The Daintees in the early 80's with the name deliberately chosen as a response to the humourlessness and angst of much of the music of the time. The Daintees became one of the first bands to sign to the Newcastle based independent label, Kitchenware. Their debut single, Roll On Summertime was a sparkling and charming affair that announced the arrival of a considerable new talent.
After Kitchenware packed Martin and the band off to London Records, he released the marvellous debut album, Boat To Bolivia (1985) produced by future Pixies, Bunnymen and James sound engineer Gil Norton. The album was packed with excellent rootsy pop songs which boasting a veritable rainbow of styles sung and played with a youthful enthusiasm and warmth that paradoxically perhaps, displayed a mature and unique song writing talent. The album contained tracks such as the bittersweet Crocodile Cryer, the haunting Rain and the alcoholics lament, Little Red Bottle. Lengthy bouts of touring saw the band gain a reputation as a fantastic live act and cemented a loyal fan base which remains with him today.
Subsequent albums, Gladsome, Humour and Blue (1987), Salutation Road (1989) and The Boys Heart (1992) failed to capture the true feelings that Martin was trying to convey. Something which London records seemed oblivious to in their quest for hit singles. This led to Martin kicking against the constraints that the label put in his way and undertook a tour of the Scottish highlands, playing folk clubs and tiny bars.
Martin left London records in 1993 and also severed his ties with the Kitchenware management team. He signed to the west London based indie label Demon Records for whom he made three highly acclaimed albums, Yogi In My House (1995), Sweet Misdemeanour (1995) and Beyond The Leap, Beyond The Law (1997). Following the sale of Demon in 1998, Martin moved to the Tyneside based label Get Rhythm, releasing the album When It's Gone, It's Gone (1998). 1999 saw the release of his eponymous album for the Floating World label. The album consisted of re-recordings of some of his finest songs from all stages in his career. Free from the commercial constraints of the mainstream music industry, Martin relocated to the highlands of Scotland, ploughing his own furrow and still refining his already admirable musical talents. The Lilac Tree was released in 2000 and was a more acoustic based sound that saw his music move in a different direction. This love of different styles of music saw Martin visit North Carolina to seek out many of his heroes and also made him many new friends and fans. After returning he recorded a couple of lo-fi albums, The Church Of The Mini Disc and The Incredible Shrinking Band that features a mixture of old folk tunes and new material.
These days you're just as likely to see Martin singing in a tee-pee with the highland tree people or playing the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall with Janis Ian. Maybe even busking on the street corners of Inverness with his banjo and guitar or touring Spain with his swing band The Toe-Rags. One thing is for sure you won't find him drinking with the fat cats. Life's too short and besides, there's too much Doc Watson to learn out there.
In between writing poetry, Martin released Collective Force in April 2002 to universal acclaim. An album made possible by the many friends and fans who, contributed to making it. Collective Force was followed by Down To The Wood featuring, Jim Hornsby which was recorded outdoors in the Peak District.
2003 saw the reissuing of Martin's back catalogue with many of the Daintees albums being available on CD for the first time, as well as the release of the double CD Haint Of The Budded Rose featuring Martin and the many musicians he encountered on his travels through North Carolina. February 2004 saw the release of Martin's new studio album. The album was titled Airdrie and was a return to the memorable pop sound of The Daintees.
In 2005 Martin toured Australia for the first time to appreciative audiences nationwide. He also released a CD later in the year called the Wheel of Fortune recorded in a remote lighthouse in the Highlands of Scotland. A rockier, darker album than before Martin showed another side to his recording talents whilst still retaining the folk roots he so dearly loves.
2007 saw Martin working with his original band the Daintees and the release of Western Eagle in 2008. Martin toured Australia