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Boyd Martin


I loved drums, and I loved bass. If you were a mom with four kids, which instrument do you think I was encouraged to pursue? Well, it was seven years of piano lessons, actually, followed by the acquisition of a string bass--on loan from Parsons College, via my dad's connections to the music department. At the tender age of 11, my professional music career began at a local Ag Show in a pre-teen jazz quartet--we were the adorable hit of the afternoon.

The late-60's- early 70's hippie years delivered my explorations into the musical universe on the magic carpet ride of psychedelics, leading to a catharsis of location: I had to get out of the Midwest. So, seeking fame and fortune at the age of 20, I headed for the vague promise of L.A.
Band after band, missed opportunity here, wrong turn there, and it was time to head to the Pacific Northwest in 1983. I had lost my fire for music by then, and it was only due to the caring encouragement of my new-found love interest that I once again picked up a bass guitar. Soon, though, I was able to get to what I thought was my first instrument originally: drums.

Two weeks after getting a kit, I was gigging in a country band, and two years later a blues trio, the Mighty Sparrows, and soon was deeply enmeshed in the considerably active Portland Blues Scene. The Sparrows fell apart, as bands do, but I was contacted by a Top 40 Band, City Lights, who took me in and set me to playing six nights a week travelling around the Red Lion Hotel chain. After about a year of that, the band broke up, as bands do, and it was back to the Portland Blues scene again.

I joined up with Paulette & Power in 1990 and the next year we won "Best R&B Band" at the short-lived Portland Music Association's Crystal Awards. Paulette's day job with the State soon forced her to go on a hiatus, and her frontwoman spot was ably filled by the great Kita Montgomery. During the further ensuing "musical chairs" and lengthy blanks in the calendar, I started looking for more gigs, being the drum addict I am.

I was shortly approached by talented Portland guitarist Robbie Laws & The Urban All-Stars, and joined up. After a whirlwind year, we garnered "Best New Band" from the prestigious Cascade Blues Association's Muddy Awards in 1994, and the next year won "Best Contemporary Blues Band" and "Best Northwest Blues Recording" for the all-original CD, "Midnight Rain".

I then got the call to the drum chair for the Joanna Connor Band out of Chicago. I toured with her for about a year, did an itinerary in Europe twice and traversed the United States three times. My drumming appears on the Joanna Connor Band Blind Pig Records release "Slide Time" (see link above), along with lyrics and melody for one of the songs penned by me (It's Not the Rock [MP3, 128KHz, 3.4 MB]).

The tour ended May '97, and upon my return home, I was recruited immediately by Portland R&B band, Shade. We had a nice run at the regional scene with mostly original material resulting in a 10-song CD, "City Lights", which made it to the Top 10 of the Northwest Blues charts, and garnered considerable airplay locally. Then, front man Charlie Grant died at his day job, effectively ending the band.

In August, 2000, I was invited to perform with the Terry Evans Band (most famous as the Terry Evans-Bobby King Show in the 80's), and did the Fall 2001 Tour across the U.S.

I hosted the Guitarslinger Tuesdays Series at Hopper's Blues Club in Portland, OR, as well as the blues jam there Thursday nights for almost a year. Upon return from the Fall 2001 US Tour of the Terry Evans Band, I formed the new, short-lived band, Warmdaddy, with Terry Evans' talented guitarist, Jesse Samsel. Although nothing ended up happening with Warmdaddy, I continue to do the occasional local gig when Terry is in town, such as the Waterfront Blues Festival.

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