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Samantha Martin 

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"This year America gave us Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, England brought us Yolanda Qartey and Phantom Limb and Toronto, Canada gives us a new rising star, Samantha Martin and The Haggard. 
The debut record, 13 tracks, traverses music genres like country, folk, blues and reggae styles effortlessly. Listening conjured up names of Divas like, Mavis Staples, Bessie Smith, and Bobbie Gentry". Jan Janssen   RealRootsCafe NL

 ESSENTIAL TRACKS - THE GLOBE AND MAIL  

"Recalling Bonnie Raitt’s island-grooved version of an old Gerry Rafferty hit, the equally soul-throated Martin lilts sandy-like on a Tom Paxton folk-classic – a love song, right down the line."  Brad Wheeler

"Samantha Martin has soul. It's obvious from the moment the rural Ontario hometown girl opens her mouth. When she's belting out country-tinged blues numbers with her band The Haggard…it's apparent Martin has the music of years-gone-by coursing through her veins." Ty Trumbell, Band of the Week, Post City
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 the spring of 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 Del Roy 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 The Tonettes, (Amoy and Ciceal Levy and Marlene O'Neill), and Country backup vocals are provided by Dani Nash, Alejandra Ribera and Siobhan Power. Multi-instrumentalist Derek Downham (of The Beauties) steps out from his usual position behind the drum kit to play keyboards, wurlitzer and combo organ on the recording.
There are 9 original songs and 4 covers on the album, The original Gospel blues tunes, Six White Horses and Dark Angel, feature Samantha playing slide resonator guitar. New Kind of Blue and Hard Luck Woman are rockabilly and honky tonk country tracks. Last thing on My Mind, originally written by Tom Paxton has been covered by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagner, but the Sam Martin and the Haggard version is most influenced by the Del Roy Wilson roots reggae arrangement of the song. Rain from the Skies is another Del Roy Wilson song that Sam Martin and the band have turned into a soul number.
The common thread that ties it all together beautifully is Samantha Martin's exemplary vocals. In fact, Samantha is often invited to sing with The Beauties, Flash Lightening, The Warped 45's, Paul Reddick and is featured in the elusive but coveted Dakota tradition "Hot Rock" (Stones inspired recurring event).

"You might not know it yet, but Samantha Martin is a rock star, She'll tear your heart out one note at a time." Serena Ryder 2012
 
                   Watch Samantha Martin perform The Staples Singers Low is The Way 
              

            Samantha Martin - Low is The Way (Staples Singers) from Pinball Sessions on Vimeo.

 

                

                                          The official Samantha Martin Website here