Sunday, October 14, 2012

John Arthur martinez Releases 11th Album

John Arthur martinez Releases 11th Album

        The road toward the completion of You Play My Heart, the new recording my john Arthur martinez, began in the hills south of Columbus, Ohio in a city called Chillicothe, most famous for the overpowering odors of the Mead Paper Factory and through the motorways Switzerland, France, & Austria, through the streets of Washington, D.C. near Dupont Circle, back home to his unpaved street in Cottonwood Shores.
        john Arthur martinez spent a brutal winter in the early 1990s in the original capital of Ohio, Chillicothe, learning the art & science of recording with the intent that one day he could and would produce his own albums and those of his Austin area friends. He returned with his certification from The Recording Workshop to begin a studio with local businessman Gib Shackelford in West Horseshoe Bay.  With the assistance of recently deceased engineer Steve Mendel, experienced session pros like Eric Butler and a slew of Austin greats they created On the Border in 1992.
        Twenty years later JAM returns to making his own records and releases You Play My Heart, mixed and overdubbed in his Cottonwood Shores studio in the hills overlooking Lake L.B.J. and Wirtz Dam and the Fiddletrax home studio of former Lonestar fiddler Kurt Baumer.  Casey Hubble, Fredericksburg singer-songwriter and recording engineer, and he recorded the basic tracks, that is, the drums, bass, rhythm guitars and scratch vocals in a converted garage just west of Fredericksburg, The Little "d" Art Ranch & Recording Studio.  Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox accordion and vocal overdubs were recorded at Guzman's home studio in Cottonwood Shores.
        "It's definitely been more rewarding to have a hand in the recording of every take, every solo, every vocal. And while the mixing process can be all consuming it's so much fun to shape the sound to where it sounds like me live," martinez explains. "After all, the musicians are the same players I tour Europe with, the same cats you'll see at my regular gigs at the River City Grille in Marble Falls or Crazy Gals Cafe in Burnet."

Track by Track Notes:

1. The lead single and the lead track on the album, "You Don't Mean To Hurt Me," is the story of one of his devoted fans from DFW who he met at a Luckenbach, TX Harley Rally and concert. "I could see that Doc (JAM's Dallas area fan) had a sadness in his eyes even though he always smiled when I saw him.  He shared fragments of his story over the years. When he heard the finished song he told me every word of it really happened to him--even the parts I thought I was making up," martinez explained. Hill Country resident Pauline Reese performs the female echo lines of the chorus.

2. "The Open Road" begins with a man in a tough economic situation losing his job at the factory in his "right to work hick town" which leads to his fiancee losing faith in him and how he deals with it all.  The song ends with the protagonist's rejection of the non-stop gloom and doom news of the economy. "I don't read the paper--enough recession news. I'd rather see the sun set than the evening news." --excerpt from "The Open Road"

3. "You Play My Heart" is a Latin-flavored song about the passion a man feels when he's in the arms of his lover using the Spanish guitar, a violin, and a mandolin as metaphors for his reaction to her touch. The song is co-penned by Horseshoe Bay, TX songstress Jan Landry, formerly of London, England.

4. "Sing Me Back Home" is one of Merle Haggard's signature songs.  Consistent with what he's done on previous recordings and what he's been doing at his live shows throughout his career, martinez takes the second verse and second chorus into Spanish with Mike Blakely provided the harmony vocals in a blend of country and Mexican bolero grooves.

5. "It's What I Do" was born on the motorways between Switzerland and France. "Our Peugot bus broke down and in the lonely down time in a small French village with no cell service or internet I wrote this "missing you" song for my wife Yvonna, who understands that my work often takes me away from her arms, but who also knows that she's always in my thoughts and therefore in my creative works," martinez shared.

6. "Emmylou's Guitar" is about what martinez calls "a surreal morning at the Mansion on O Street in D.C. where I awoke and began my quest for coffee then spotted a beautiful blonde guitar made of maple atop one of the antique desks overlooking O Street near Dupont Circle." It turns out the guitar was handmade by Gibson for Emmylou Harris and that she had signed it and given it as a gift to the owners of this incredible mansion, a place filled with secret passageways, hidden corridors, and bedroom suites, like where he sleep, that opened up seemingly out of nowhere behind door sized mirrors or bookcases.

7. "Dare to Dream Out Loud" he dedicates to his friend Leo Manzano from his hometown high school in Marble Falls. Manzano, who overcomes humble circumstances like lack of adequate shoes to pursue his passion of running, wins state championships, a scholarship to the University of Texas, and eventually a Silver Medal at the 2012 London Olympics. "The first verse is about single mom's like my sister Terry and my wife Yvonna, before she met me, who overcome adversities to achieve success in there careers," martinez adds.

8. "Learn to Dance in the Rain," co-written with Jan Landry was inspired by a phrase he read repeatedly on Facebook he revealed. "Jan and I both try to find petal of joy even in a garden of gravity," he says. "If it seems the rain keeps coming down, rather than hiding behind the living room curtains, step outside and learn to dance in the rain."

9. "Tennessee Left Texas" is not just an attempt to pander to his fellow Texas and Tennessee fans he says, "Instead it's a true story about a beautiful 4 year old girl my co-writer Rick Bussey and I met in Bertram, Texas' Crazy Gals Cafe, where we both performed. Tennessee's mother left Tennessee's father to take a job out west taking the brown-eyed girl  out of the state of Texas."

10. "Loneliest Star in Texas" is an ode to the Western Swing band Asleep at the Wheel and their forefathers Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. He explains the lyrics, "Picture a drive late into the night where the bandleader, me, is half-Asleep at the Wheel, and confronted by a torrential West Texas rain which exposes the flaws in the used van's poorly installed sunroof, who then pulls into a convenience store to buy an umbrella so that he can drive the rest of the way home. Of course, the band is in the back sleeping off the night of overconsumption!"

11. I Know How To Fall is co-written with Wake Eastman, an Austin area songwriter. Eastman had just persuaded former Lonestar fiddler Kurt Baumer to move to Texas. "During one of Kurt's first gigs with me in the poorly lit light behind our stage area at a local club, Kurt tripped down the stairs carrying my Mackie mixer," martinez elaborates. "Concerned about the fall Wake and I rush to see if he's okay and he responds, 'The mixer's allright. It didn't hit the ground. I know how to fall.' Wake and began writing the song in our heads right on the spot!"

12. Cajita Milagros is about a distant relative of martinez. He explains. "My dad's brother's wife's mother, a Mexican curandera, used to cure the country folks in the farmlands northeast of Austin with herbal remedies and prayer, using plants like peppermint, chamomile, aloe vera, etc. My wife loves this because she's a modern day curandera who's encouraged me to use herbal and homeopathic cures to relieve my serious allergy issues." Because of his wife's influence he is no longer dependent his old routine of anti-histamines, allergy shots, antibiotics and steroids. Grammy winners Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox handle the background vocal duties as Guzman adds his signature accordion.  Young gun Caleb Rojas adds a Santana-like guitar, and Kurt Baumer plays the haunting fiddle lines.
Bonus Track: Toca Mi Corazon is the all Spanish version of the title track, with the percussion of Brazilian Luiz Coutinho de Souza mixed out from, and with the electric guitars of Caleb Rojas and the fiddle of San Antonio veteran Ron Knuth.

Tim McGraw auf Ne-Yos neuem Album

Tim McGraw auf Ne-Yos neuem Album 

Dass Countrysänger durchaus von Künstlern aus anderen Genres geschätzt werden und auch mit ihnen gemeinsam Songs aufnehmen, hat Tim McGraw als jüngstes Beispiel wieder einmal gezeigt: er wird auf dem neuen Album von R&B-Sänger Ne-Yo zu hören sein. Die Zusammenarbeit ist dazu noch alles andere als zufällig. Ne-Yo hatte zuvor mit McGraw den Song „Only Human“ aufgenommen, der auf McGraws Album Emotional Traffic erschien, das im Januar 2012 veröffentlicht wurde. Das Album war Nummer 1 der Country Charts. Jetzt ist es an der Zeit sich zu revanchieren und seine Fans können gespannt darauf sein, wie das gemeinsame Werk der beiden Künstler letztendlich klingt. Das Album trägt den Titel R.E.D. (Abkürzung für „Realizing Every Dream“) und erscheint am 2. November 2012.

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