K.K. Martin: Fourth-Generation Bluesman Loves That Thing He Does

Written by on November 21, 2013 in Interviews, November 21, 2013 - Comments Off on K.K. Martin: Fourth-Generation Bluesman Loves That Thing He Does

K.K. MartinK.K. Martin is a fourth generation talented Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Musician/ Arranger/Producer/Engineer/all-around Entertainer born in West Monroe, Louisiana. Exposed in the womb to the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson and Hank Williams; he began touring with his parents band at age ten, was transplanted to California in 1969, and cut 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 Cambell, and The Busboys, to name just a few.

All Access Magazine (AAM) recently conducted a spirited interview with K.K., a true musician’s musician.

AAM: Let’s start with a little background about who K.K. Martin is, musically speaking?

K.K.: Well, first of all, let me thank you for taking the time to chat with you and your fine publication. As you already know, I am a 4th generation musician, so my family was a major influence on who I am musically. Having said that, I suppose, I am like any American kid, who grew up listening to the radio in 60’s and 70’s. I have been influenced by everything from HEE HAW, to the US Festival, and everything in between. For me, the four basic food groups are Rock, Jazz, Blues and Country. Not necessarily in that order. And not counting the derivatives of those four basic styles.
AAM: What are some of the most recent projects you’re involved with?
KK: I just finished co-producing the debut CD for Jake London, as well as playing on recent releases for Tricia Freeman and Scott Sechman. I’m also working on my fourth album for Rip Kat Records

AAM: What was the impetus that led you to play the blues?

K.K.: I was always surrounded by the blues, even before I understood, that the deeper implications of what those lyrics were saying, I was exposed very early on to Jimmy Rogers, Robert Johnson, The Carter Family, as well as Gospel music, it seems like I’ve always had the Blues. I think having a foundation rooted in the Blues has been a very important part of my understanding of music in general.

AAM: Your bio indicates you’re a fourth-generation musician, indicating that many in your family played music before you. Can you discuss this?

K.K.: I was born in West Monroe, Louisiana. As a child my earliest memories are of my family playing music together. In those days there was no Internet. You were lucky to have a TV. And if you did, you were lucky to be able to see anything on it. So mostly it was about the radio. But as far as a social life, everything evolved around playing music. That’s how we entertained each other. Aunts, uncles, grandparents would all get together on weekend nights and sometimes play all night long.

AAM: You’re known for maintaining a rigorous live music schedule, therefore a great person to ask this question to: What’s the live music scene like today in Southern California?

K.K.: It has changed a lot over the years. I think technology has had a lot to do with that. Once again, you have to remember, there was no Internet, no home theater, and social networking consisted of going out and meeting your friends at a club or a concert and seeing live music. There is still a vibrant live music scene in Southern California. You just have to look a little harder for it. As much as things have changed certain things remain the same. You just have to go out there and play your heart out. Nowadays live entertainment has to compete with home entertainment, texting, smartphones and DJs.

AAM: Share with us your 5-year plan for success in the music biz?

K.K.: My 5-year plan is the same as it had been for over 35 years: to keep working, to keep writing and recording, and to keep putting out there as much as possible. I hope to be maintaining an aggressive touring schedule. That goes beyond the 5-year plan.

AAM: Finally, where can people go for the latest news and updates on K.K. Martin?

K.K.: My web site address www.kkmartin.com You can find me on www.reverbnation.com, iTunes, amazon, CDBaby etc. etc. And of course, Facebook.