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KK Martin

A genuine bluesman who believes in keeping it real, K.K. Martin has evolved from the street corners and back-of-the-room juke joints where legends such as Robert Johnson, Son House and Charley Patton started it all. Exposed in the womb as his mom loved listening to the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson and Hank Williams; he was baptized in the Blues before he was even born.
Martin's first gig was on a local TV show in Long Beach during a trip to California."There was a show called `Cal's Corral,' and Squeekin' Deacon, a deejay at KFOX in Long Beach, one of the biggest country stations in Southern California, threw me onstage when I was 3 years old. I think I did `Little Red Wagon' (a Hank Thompson hit)."
In grade school he was already touring with his mother, a country and pop singer and songwriter, and his father, a pedal steel guitarist. "I started touring with them around 10 years old," Martin says. "I was playing guitar and sometimes drums."
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KK Martin at the Starwood

He was transplanted to California in 1969, During his high school years, Martin didn't get the same education as most Long Beach Unified students. "We would go out sometimes for three months at a time," he said of his touring family. "There were periods when we were traveling where I would enroll in a school for a couple of days, and then we were back on the road. It was a very gypsy-like existence. We played every little honky-tonk, car lot and bowling alley, almost anyplace you could imagine. That's how we made a living, and that's how I'm still trying to make a living."

When his parents retired, Martin kept on playing, cutting his teeth on the local L.A. rock scene at age 16 landing a brief stint with the Albert Collins Backup Band. As a stalwart in the 1980’s L.A. scene, Martin was a founding member of the band A La Carte, recorded and played with Donald (Duck) Dunn, It's a Beautiful Day, Eric Burden, Booker T, Rick Derringer, Lester Chambers, Andy Johns, The Chambers Brothers, and Shark Island. He shared stages with, Journey, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Black Oak Arkansas, Blondie, UFO, Johnny Winters, Mike Campbell, (of the Heartbreakers) Glenn Campbell, and The Busboys, to name just a few. Then he walked away "I was just battle weary. I wanted to do something as completely removed from the music business as I could find, So I went to school at Harbor
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KK doing a guitar photoshoot

Unified School District in San Pedro and learned horseshoeing. And then for 10 years, I traveled around Southern California and up to the Pacific Northwest, working on ranches and doing horseshoeing.
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Granny's Gibson

In the late 90’s KK rediscovered his roots, producing, recording and performing Delta Blues in the old solo artist traditions and style. “It's what I always come back to." Martin was honored at the 9th Annual HOUSE of BLUES, Los Angeles MUSIC AWARDS being voted "OUTSTANDING BLUES ARTIST”. His Delta Blues debut, “Naked Blues” featured Martin’s amazing fretwork, the finger styling he learned at his grandmothers knee, but also emphasized his vocal performance and emotion; dark and suffused with undertones of danger. Martin may have started mostly in country and pop and now focuses on blues, but when it comes to music, for him there are no limits.
"I'm a musician, and part of that entails that whatever the gig is, you show up and do the gig, whether it's country, jazz, blues, rock or polka," he said. "I mean, at the end of the day - and this is one of the things that I like to say to people a lot - there's really only two kinds of music, good and bad."
A genuine bluesman who believes in keeping it real, K.K. Martin has evolved from the street corners and back-of-the-room juke joints where legends such as Robert Johnson, Son House and Charley Patton started it all. With his acoustic guitar on his knee and original songs to communicate with, he carries the torch of tradition and keeps it alive.
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A man, a mic, a guitar.

PRESS

I have complete and total admiration for K.K. Martin and his music. I have also had the privilege and honor to interview K.K. Martin. He is one classy, laid back and very down to earth guy. The same goes for his music. Classy, laid back, down to earth, pure hand-cut blues. His style of Artist simply does not come any better - PERIOD!! His ‘Naked Blues Vol. II’ is an absolute must hear for anyone who appreciates great lyrics and great music!!”  -SONGWRITERS WEBCAST

 “More than a 'follow-up' to Naked Blues, 'Naked Blues Vol 2' stands on it's own. K.K. Martin will be remembered in history as one of those player who really 'gets it', and always has.  -AMERICAN BLUES NEWS

I'm sitting here listening to K.K. Martin's new Release Naked Blues Vol. II… "Rattlesnake Shake" - The first song from the Delta comes at you pretty thick, blackened and swampy. This is the real dealio fo' sho'. K.K.'s haunting vocals with his cotton-picking acoustic slide guitar playing plants you deeply in fertile earth…if you like Robert Johnson, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, and Elmore James I'm sure this album will have you reminiscing of dayz of old...I can almost smell the thick cigarette smoke and body sweat of an ol’ juke joint while the booze flowz like a river… God bless da Blues with this CD!”  -CASHBOX MAGAZINE

One of America’s true, blues traditional players….plays as clean as anyone I know…on this latest CD, K.K. runs the gamut of bone-chilling voices. Just listen to "Alligator Wine". His performance on that song ranks with any blues performance I have heard lately. K.K.'s vocal chops have got to make you smile.”                           -BLUEPOWER

A genuine bluesman who believes in keeping it real…Martin can sing it up high or sing it down low; he’s full of spirit with each of the ten tracks included here, and it makes a fine sequel to his winning program on Naked Blues. With his acoustic guitar on his knee and original songs to communicate with, he carries the torch of tradition and keeps it alive.”   -SOUTHLAND BLUES

K.K. Martin’s blues are real and reality is what we all need a little more of these days."  -BLUES SOURCE