Guitarist K.K. Martin Talks Naked Blues, Ripcat Records, The Music Biz & More

Written by on December 15, 2011 in December 15, 2011, Interviews - Comments Off on Guitarist K.K. Martin Talks Naked Blues, Ripcat Records, The Music Biz & More

“More than a ‘follow-up’ to Naked Blues, ‘Naked Blues Vol II’ stands on its own. K.K. Martin will be remembered in history as one of those player who really ‘gets it’, and always has.”


K.K. MartinK.K. Martin has a Newly-Minted Endorsement from Cream T Pickups, one of the world’s premier makers of guitar pickups who are also represented by the likes of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and who will soon add Martin to their “Signature Solo” roster of endorsers. This in turn exposes Martin to a worldwide audience through the powerful distribution vehicle umbrella of ITunes.

Naked Blues Vol. II has received radio airplay on over 100 U.S. stations, including the internationally-syndicated Blues Deluxe Show. Martin constantly stays busy with headlining appearances at numerous festivals including back-to-back years at Real Blues Festival of Orange County in addition to local gigs throughout Southern California, and in particular, his home base of Orange County. Add to this the great reviews for his Naked Blues Vol. II album have received, and one would have to agree the Blues Gods are smiling on the fortunes of a musician whose excellent playing belies his laid-back, Zen-like personality and demeanor.

All Access Magazine (AAM) caught up with K.K. Martin (K.K.) recently.

AAM: Who is K.K. Martin?

K.K. MartinK.K.: KK Martin was born at a very young age in West Monroe, Louisiana, but seriously just like the bio says I’m a 4th generation musician but I consider myself a work in progress. I can’t really define who I am but I know I’m him. All my life I have been a working musician who is fluent in jazz, blues, rock and country like my family taught me to be.

AAM: Congratulations on signing with Ripcat Records! How exactly do you feel this will impact your career?

K.K.: I’m very excited about this! Rip Cat Records is a label started by musicians for musicians, and some of their signings have included White Boy James and the Blues Express, The 44’s, and most recently, The Blasters. So that’s really good company for myself to be included in. Our relationship is built on trust and mutual respect, it is a deal sealed with a handshake…and the beginning of a symbiotic relationship that holds the promise of making my music much more accessible to a greater number of current and new fans.

AAM: When, and how, did you discover you first had the ‘itch’ to be a musician?

K.K.: I can’t recall ever “discovering” that I wanted to be a musician. It’s always been with me. There has always been music around me since the day I was born. There has never been a time where I wasn’t excited by music. One of my earliest memories was being sad that I didn’t sound like Elvis.

AAM: Who do you count as some of the most significant influences on your music career?

K.K. MartinK.K.: My Grandmother was one of the most significant influences on my musical career, as was my mother and father who always supplied me with a steady diet of incredible music and musicians to feed on.

AAM: The style of music you play has been called “Delta” Blues. Please explain?

K.K.: Blues music has evolved into an incredibly diverse collection of styles which all come from the birthplace; the Mississippi Delta. It started out as field hollers, as well as simple country folk songs. It’s a much more sparse format than the big band blues of Chicago, New York or the West Coast.

AAM: Why have you chosen to call your last two albums “Naked Blues” (Volumes 1 and II)?

K.K.: It’s Naked Blues because it’s just me, stripped down to it’s basic components; a man, a microphone and a guitar. It’s all about the story, not a lot of special effects or fancy arrangements.

AAM: What have been some of your most memorable musical moments, and why?

K.K.: Working with Lester Chambers, working with Donald “Duck” Dunn, working with Steven Tyler and too many more to name. Being a part of the seminal Hollywood music scene in the seventies, the Starwood, the Whisky, the Troubador. Hang out with me sometime over a couple of drinks and I’ll tell you more.

AAM: What is to be your next musical project?

K.K. MartinK.K.: I just signed to Rip Cat Records and am currently working on a new album of all original material featuring my band; The Roadside Revelers, as well as a host of surprise musical guests.

AAM: Five years from now, where do you see your career at?

K.K.: Exactly what I’m doing right now, writing and recording music, continuing to meet new fans and friends while playing with as many talented people as I can. Life is good when you live it. Already covered the next musical project but thinking Mahavishnu Keevowan Orchestra or maybe a musical. We’ll just have to see where the road goes.

AAM: Please share something about K.K. Martin that you’ve never told any other media outlet.

K.K.: I have six toes, I’m color blind and I have a hard time driving.