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Christina Martin at the John Peel Centre

Image © tonybell.PHOTOGRAPHY

Christina Martin was incredibly ending a tour of continental Europe encompassing 90 shows in six months and a two week one of England.  This tiny Canadian songstress boasts a richly powerful voice which is very easy on the ear and a musical style fusing pop and country.  The whole evening had a distinctly personal feel as she regaled us with stories of the events which inspired every song, punctuating them with humour.

Having been told that she would never make a success of herself if she left stressful city life for her countryside studio, Martin wrote the very catchy, “Sleeping With A Stranger.” This, the title track of her latest offering, denotes her struggle to achieve the life that she wanted for herself. Released in 2012, it is her fifth album and won her the Music Nova Scotia Female Recording for that year.

Her husband and producer, Dale Murray, played a lap steel on the track, “A Hard Day in June.” Its whining lament echoed the message of the lyrics, “I can’t keep going at this pace.” His musical versatility greatly contributed to the evening’s overall sound.

Christina explained how Dale and herself had got together before playing, “Two Hearts” (from 2008) and the successful single from the current album, “Falling For You.” This last song was voted onto the Canadian CBC Radio 2 Top 20 countdown where it remained for five months. We joined in on “You Don’t Have to Leave Tonight” and forced a beautifully melodic encore of the Everly Brothers’ “Love Hurts.” Both my brother and I left with signed CDs and posters having enjoyed a memorable night at an intimate venue.

Catch up with her on line at www.christinamartin.net – you won’t be disappointed.

Hats off to Cambridge-based Fred’s House for ably filling the last minute void, replacing Flaming June as support act.  This four piece combo entertained us with a romp through their melodic repertoire.

They shamelessly plugged the release of their first album, performing the title track, “Bonnie and Clyde.” I lost myself in its haunting harmonies.  Their songs build effortlessly to a chorus. “Skin n Bone” reaches a vocal crescendo and the partially acoustic “Hold On” inspires you to hope in stagnating situations.  The album will be launched on 24 April at the Portland Arms, Cambridge.  I recommend them to you.

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