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California or Texas?


Texas or California

Texas or California???
David Martinez
I have had this question raised numerous times over the past few years.
Why do you promote yourself as a Texas artist but everything you do focuses on California?
It seems like you want to have nothing to do with Texas. Do you?
I’ve heard it all and I’ll set the record straight on this one. First off being a Texan is something that I am proud of and hold dear to my heart.  Anytime I have played elsewhere whether it be Upstate New York or Seattle, there is this pride that glows when you say you are from Texas.  Texas has produced some of the greatest musicians in the history of music and being from Texas is definitely something to be proud of. 
California happened by accident, I embarked on an independent tour back in 2006 with two awesome songwriters.  Our goal was to take the music elsewhere and harness what we could find to grow the music.  Yes this was unconventional but then again was it? What is ever conventional? I had recorded a demo of songs I wrote in Austin, Texas back in the Spring of 2006. I had been a huge fan of Leroy Miller’s music and I happened to be doing a show at The Cat Club in Los Angeles during the tour.  I contacted Leroy months earlier via Myspace and he responded.  It was cool to talk to him and when I arrived in LA, we all had lunch at Jerry’s Famous Deli.  He gave me a CD of his new material and I was amazed, we kept that CD in for like 2 days straight during our drive to San Francisco.  
One thing an artist always wants is their own sound and I wanted that more than anything.  I asked Leroy who recorded and produced his stuff and he told me, “I do”! I thought, this guy can help me achieve the sound I’ve always wanted.  We worked out a small budget to record two songs and one of them was a song I wrote called “Can’t Find You” .  It was a pretty amazing experience but it was also challenging because most people work their way up to this level of recording.  I walked in the studio the next day and asked “How’s the demo sounding”, Leroy turns to me and says “I don’t make demos, I make records”.  At that point I got and I was like, I’m making a record with this guy. I had no idea how I was going to because my budget to make the record in Texas was cheaper but at the end of the day, we worked out a budget and brought in awesome musicians to help with the project.   On May 31, 2007 I packed my bags, got in my car, and drove to Los Angeles.  I was tired and jaded from the drive, then the work began and I knew why I was here.  

We recorded my debut album at a simple pace in June of 2007 and we worked every detail out to make it right. It was not an easy process but when is it ever? I also got to work with photographer/actress Kelly Mullis for the first time too.  I’ll never forget this; she said “I’m going to make you look like a star”.  The photo shoot took place in various parts of West Hollywood and Runyan Canyon.  Her pictures were used for promo shots as well as the album cover for my debut album.  I don’t know what it was or how I was lead to the West because I always figured I’d start in Texas and then eventually go West like most other musicians.  I think it was God’s hand and fate that lead me there because the thought never crossed my mind, only as a teenager when me and my cousin said we were moving to California to be stars. 
My next stop in California was in July of 2010, I played shows in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara. I had played in Santa Barbara during my debut album sessions in 2007 and opened for SB greats Claude Hopper.  The shows were awesome and I made new friends and learned more about myself as an artist.  Musician Dave Booda put me up for a few days in San Diego and set me up with a couple of gigs and we also had a late night jam as well.  Great times! Next stop was The Viper Room in Los Angeles and again I met up with Leroy Miller who was moving to Nashville.  We talked about a new record and figured we would eventually work together again.  My last stop was at a place called ROY in Santa Barbara and again, another amazing experience.  I kept trying to get away from California but for some reason I kept getting sucked in.  Later in the Fall of 2010, I flew to Nashville and recorded a song called “Hey Mary” with Leroy Miller producing and co writing.  This song had developed into something very different from the sound I had on my debut record.  It still had the vibe and it was very much me.  
I continued to write in 2011 and in July of 2012 I returned to Los Angeles to work on my second album. During pre production, I recorded demos and talked about them with Leroy via email and the phone.  The goal for this batch of songs was to give them their own identity. I didn’t want to make my debut album again, I am extremely proud of that work but as an artist, you must push the envelope and step into the unknown.  I had talked to other producers around Texas but the vision and the budget weren't working. All that told me is that the time wasn’t right this time around.  After we recorded this batch of songs, I knew I made the right decision to work in Los Angeles again.  
Working in Southern California doesn’t make me less of a Texas artist, I think it brings more out of me and when I’m there I am representing Texas.  Everything about me is Texas, I’m just doing my own version of Texas Music and adding my spin.  When you look at it, it all comes down to the sound you want and like I’ve said many times, I wanted my own sound and voice.  I think people like Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and countless others have taken their influences and created their own unique sound.  It all blends into this beautiful batch that makes Texas Music a unique and beautiful thing. That is my goal and I will continue to search for that sound and add to it as I move along.  I love Texas, it’s in my heart, and I will always call this place home!     

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Grandpa, I Will Miss You Forever

Photobucket On Friday, October 29th, my family and I lost a man who I will always hold in high regards, my grandfather, Cayetano Aguirre Martinez. He was born on August 7, 1922 and was a dedicated family man. I admired this man because of his bravery in serving the Second World War and his work ethic. I have taken these virtues and have tried to instill them into my life the best I can. I’m up here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a semi-finalist in a songwriting contest for the Texas Independent Music Expo and readying myself for a solo acoustic performance tomorrow night at Opening Bell Coffee. I think of all I have accomplished over the last four years as a musician and the people I have built special relationships with and then I go into my mind and know none of this would be possible without my family, including my grandparents who played an instrumental role. I can remember as a child, Gramps would work all day then come home and work around the house. I was probably pretending to be Ace Frehley and putting on a Kiss show on the front porch or climbing up something. I would sing “Do You Love Me” and he stand there and look at me and smile. Those things you sometimes take for granted, but as I reflect, they meant the world and told me in my mind, keep doing what you are doing. I remember the stories he told me of growing up during the Great Depression and how he had to start working at 11 years old to help the family put food on the table. 11 years old!! He never complained, blamed anyone, and just kept paving the way to build the best for his family. This is something you can’t put a price on. As I take a deeper look into it, I find I do the same thing in my life. People praise me; some people tell me they are not interested in my work. One thing I do know is that I’m going to keep singing my song. You can try and squash my dreams but the only one that can stop me is myself. I think of a song I wrote called “The Otherside”. The Chorus states, “I stop myself from being what I want to be/the obstacles are around I should go over them/then I’ll see what’s on the other side/I can keep on chasing/What is mine.” It sounded kind of cliché at first, but then I thought, this is ME. I am standing in my way. Gramps came to mind and I kept the words. I’m glad I did because there are tons of people who have written me and have let me know what those lines mean to them. It astonishes me, but I believe we all need that push, God knows I did. I guess all I’m really trying to say is that I miss my Grandfather with all my heart and I have felt very vulnerable since his passing. I thought I could handle it and keep going on with my daily life, but then it hit me hard. I know I will get stronger as time goes on because that is the only way he would have it. I still can’t help myself to feel sad, but as I move forward, I will always carry him in my heart. He and my Grandmother are one of the major reasons why I am the man I am today. Whether, it is my undergrad or graduate degrees or the fact that I have a career working as a teacher or a career as a musician. Gramps would still tell me, you can do more and I do and I will use my music to spread positive vibes to this world. Dear Grandpa, Thank you for all you have done for me in my life and know that all your teachings and beliefs have been taken and will be passed to people who come across me in my life. I love you and Grandma with all my heart and I’m glad you are now with her. God bless and Rest In Peace. Love David

2009: Year In Review David Martinez Band

This year has been filled with highs and lows, but definitely more highs than lows. Since 2006, I had a fire lit in me to get the music out and to take it to a higher level with each performance. After recording the debut record in the summer of 2007, I thought it would be easy to put a band together, but that was met with lots of trials and tribulations. Fast forward to 2009, now The David Martinez Band is in place and going strong. We have Joseph Flores on lead guitar, Johnny Ramos Jr. on drums and percussion, and Johnny Mitchell on bass guitar. Each player is phenomenal in a sense that they each bring their own identity to the music that is on the record and I feel grateful to have these guys for we are a family. We must also send shout outs to our supportive families and Eduardo Garza Jr, Nicholas Martinez, Felipe Valdez, Mark Arispe for helping us out with our shows. John Paul, we haven’t forgot about you either and we thank you for your tremendous enthusiasm and support. In January of this year, we played a CD release show at Disc Go Round and that was our first taste in front of a crowd. We then had the fortunate luck of landing a gig opening for Bob Schneider. That gig helped expose The David Martinez Band sound to people who hadn’t heard of us. We then had the fortunate opportunity to work with Russell Sanders from April till September. Rusty is a great human being with a special heart and we cherished our time with him including his faith in God, his loyalty to his family, and his commitment to the band. We played some great shows together this year, including our first gig in Austin, Texas at Momo’s. Thank You Rusty!!!! We then got great news and found out we were one out of four bands picked to play the legendary KLRU studios in Austin, Texas for Land Shark Lager’s Battle of the Bands 2009. Playing that stage was an overwhelming honor due to the legends that have graced that stage. You walk into the place and you see the photos of Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash, Etta James, and many more. Not to mention, Pearl Jam had graced that stage less than a week before. The people from Rhapsody, Land Shark, and Austin City Limits crew were amazing and their hospitality went beyond the level we expected. We got to play with other great Texas acts that included Rabbit’s Got The Gun, Brittnee Belt, and Inner Frequency. In the end, a great band from Minneapolis, MN, Chester Bay took the grand prize. Even though we came in 9th, we were the only small market band to play any of these events and we will always cherish the time we had to participate in an event like this. Look for footage from this event in 2010. We spent the remainder of the year doing some acoustic shows and perfecting new songs that have been written. We plan to have about 25 songs in the arsenal and 90 percent of them being original. We would also like to thank Peter Hay of Twin Vision out of NYC for helping us get the word out. As a result, you can hear The David Martinez Band in markets across the country. As for 2010, we are looking at big things and we know that it will even be a better year than 2009. Plans for the New Year include getting on the festival circuit, as well as attending a few conferences to expose the band to a broader range of people. We also plan on heading back to Los Angeles and working with Leroy Miller on a new record. I have grown so much as a musician and the band has grown and added their own blend to the music. We look forward to getting out and playing more gigs and building on the relationships we have built over the past couple of years. Thank you to everyone who made this a great year for The David Martinez Band Thank You David Martinez, Johnny Ramos, Joseph Flores, Johnny Mitchell

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