& Delta Sugar
Bubbling up from the cauldron of roots Americana music, Samantha Martin is an artist of extraordinary power, gravitas and deep-seated emotion. On first listen, one is immediately struck by the awesome presence and sheer magnitude of her other worldly voice. Cigarette-ravaged and whiskey-soaked in the extreme, Martin’s pipes are capable of conveying an infinite range of emotions, bringing one to tears in one instance and in the next uplifting one’s soul with an empowered declaration of hope, faith and desire. As a vocalist her roots lie squarely within the wellspring of powerful, strong woman’s voices embodied by such forbears as Marion Williams, Mavis Staples, Etta James, Tina Turner, Bettye LaVette, Lucinda Williams and, perhaps most closely, Bonnie Bramlett. As a songwriter, she draws on black gospel and southern soul with a hint of roots country and sixties pop while her lyrics suggest an old soul with wisdom beyond her years.
– by Rob Bowman
Grammy Award winning author of Soulsville U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records
& The Haggard
“You may not know it yet, but Samantha Martin is a rock star, she’ll tear your heart out one note at a time.” Serena Ryder
One of the rising stars in Toronto’s roots-rock scene, Martin and her band can be seen frequently on stage at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto’s most respected Americana/Roots venue. With the release of their self titled debut album, Samantha Martin and The Haggard in March 2012, the band will be taking their music on the road far beyond Toronto. Recorded in July 2011 at Toronto’s Lincoln County Social Club, co-produced by the band and John Dinsmore (producer and multi-instrumentalist with Kathleen Edwards, NQ Arbuckle, Sarah Harmer) The album boldly traverses deep southern soul, roots/reggae and 50’s rock n roll.
Tribute is paid to musical influences including Otis Redding and Robert Johnson, The Rolling Stones, The Staples Singers, CCR and Patsy Cline as well as Reggae artist Delroy Wilson; but the album is distinctly Samantha Martin and The Haggard. Few other artists are able to incorporate such broad genres successfully and present a cohesive sound all their own.
The band is Samantha Martin on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mikey McCallum on lead guitar, Greg Sweetland on bass and Pete Lambert on drums. The album is tastefully punctuated by the background vocals of Gospel Divas, Amoy & Ciceal Levy and Marlene O’Neill, and Country backup vocals are provided by Dani Nash (The Pining), Alejandra Ribera and Siobhan Power. Mulch-instrumentalist Derek Downham (The Beauties) steps out from his usual position behind the drum kit to play keyboards, Wurlitzer and combo organ on the recording.
The common thread that ties it all together beautifully is Samantha Martin’s exemplary vocals.