Flav Martin
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Flav Martin

Woodstock, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2020 | INDIE

Woodstock, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2020
Solo Rock Singer/Songwriter





Spiritual excavations from artists whose sonic caress can pacify psyche by igniting fire down the spine.

From Santana to Marley and beyond, there’s been a lot of self-searching applied to Latin and Caribbean rhythms and given pop sweetness, yet it takes Jerry Marotta to spice up a memorable melody, and Flav Martin’s tunes are tasty enough to turn their debut record into a pocket carnival – profound in scope if easy on the ear. For the most part an acoustic exercise, this album doesn’t burden the listener with stylistic boundaries or high-level philosophy, though, preferring to focus on emotional workings instead, as suggested by songs such as “How Could You Leave Me Now?” and “I Knew It Was You” whose tenderness is immense and deceptively simple at the same time...

August 3, 2018 - Let it Rock

"Flav Martin and Jerry Marotta "Soul Redemption" and the Magic of Musicianship"

Martin’s acoustic chops and his inventive styles and techniques are unique. He’s a monster player, and he’s earned accolades throughout the industry, from David Crosby to Gene Simmons—he’s just not a household name. When we spoke after his set, Martin mentioned that he’d just completed an album, dubbed Soul Redemption, with producer Jerry Marotta.

No surprise if the producer’s name rings a bell... Marotta has served as rhythm ace for a number of fairly well-known artists, including Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Hall & Oates. He’s also a big Flav Martin fan.

Soul Redemption was recorded at Jersville Studios, Marotta’s project space near Woodstock, and at Dreamland Recording Studios in nearby Hurley, N.Y., through a custom API 48×48 console. At the center of the record, which includes performances by heavyweight bass player Tony Levin and a small but equally impressive group of sideman, sit the performances of Flav Martin...“Flav initially came here to have me play percussion on his records,” he says...“We agreed that I would produce the project that eventually became Soul Redemption,” he continues...When turning to guitar, both Martin and Marotta say that the artist’s experience as a freewheeling soloist introduced some challenges in the studio. “I pretty much screwed up the tracks at first,” laughs Martin...Michael Cozzi mixed all nine tracks...“As for the guitars, Flav often doubled his acoustic and didn’t play the same on both takes—I assume purposely,” he continues. “I like to pan those kind of guitars quite aggressively left and right. That way you can really hear the dance between the two parts as they play off each other...Soul Redemption, a remarkably good record, features Tony Levin (bass), Peter Primamore (piano), Thor Jensen (guitar), Marc Schulman (guitar) and Gary Schreiner (harmonica/accordion). Michael Cozzi mixed the album; Chris Athens was the mastering engineer...

By Gary Eskow
Published: 12/03/2018 - Mixonline

"Flav Martin & Jerry MarottaSoul Redemption2018"

Soul Redemption by Flav Martin & Jerry Marotta is a beautiful collection of songs that take the listener on a secret journey of the soul. Martin composed most of these songs in a friendly and personal way (English AND Spanish!) that makes it seem like he’s talking directly to you. In addition to that, the album features his gorgeous guitar work that ranges all over the spectrum; everything from pop rock to flamenco! The sonic architect on this glorious effort is none other than famous drummer icon, Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Sarah McLachlan). Marotta’s production values are impeccable, as usual, and the team of A-list players he selected are spectacular. The band includes Tony Levin (King Crimson, Paul Simon, John Lennon) on bass, Peter Primamore (film/TV composer) on piano, and Mark Schulman (Chris Botti, Suzanne Vega) on guitar.The album was recorded at the illustrious Dreamland Recording Studios in West Hurley, New York...Flav Martin’s lyrics are insightful and revealing....Martin genuinely has a gift for storytelling. Even when he expresses despair, he throws in a little joke to lighten the burden...Flav Martin understands that Soul Redemption is all about...the journey. Jerry Marotta’s lush production is not only due to his own brilliant instincts. He also surrounds himself with a top-notch team. Soul Redemption was engineered by Bella Blasko, Matthew Cullen, Connor Milton, Pete Caigan, Adam Armstrong, and Joe Quigley. Mixing was done by Michael Cozzi (The Security Project) and mastering by world renown knob guru Chris Athens (Rick Ross, Coldplay, Erykah Badu). All the songs get stuck in your head, have catchy riffs, are meticulously crafted, and are intricately complex,yet somehow,come across as so simple that one cannot help but sing along. Perfect music if you are going on a road trip. Martin’s natural charm is magnified by Marotta’s lush production. - www.malcommooremusic.com

"Flav Martin & Jerry Marotta Soul Redemption"

When I first press play on "Soul Redemption" I can hear elements of Jack Johnson...The lyrics aren't as light though, as they can be about smashing things (like reality) and "What the heck is a boy supposed to do when thinking about tomorrow", which is a different kind of heavy. Overall this has an acoustic vibe and it is somewhat like the lighter side of Blue October...As the second song is about dreams (but is called "Please" because he sings "Please dream of me") it takes on this feeling like Bryan Adams when he got together for that song for that "Three Musketeers" movie..."Drinking You" is a song about comparing someone with wine and it drops a reference to NASCAR but just manages to remain so chill no matter what the mood of the lyrics presents...On "I Knew It Was You" the title is referenced quite a bit, which is something I appreciate because far too often song structure is taken for granted. Being able to write and compose complex song structures but present them so that they feel much more simple than they actually are is something few can do well but Flav Martin and Jerry Marotta have shown how to do it perfectly...From these ideas of that "Don Juan" movie with Johnny Depp to the classical guitar of the movie "Desperado", yes, this CD speaks to me in soundtracks for quite a bit and that's okay. I feel like when music can remind you of soundtracks (movies) it has that presence above being just audio and becomes visual as well. The fact that these songs can create these images in my mind along with the music itself speaks volumes about how good it is...Then yet as we go into "Wild Moon" there is this line about "No looking out, no looking in" and it reminds me of Tom Petty and not just because of the guitars. To be able to create a sound so diverse but within the same overall genre of rock is quite the accomplishment..."Soul Redemption" is kind of the opposite effect of that as it can be calmer and more relaxing, but yet, it can also be something you can put on for good energy...

Wednesday June 6, 2018
Joshua Macala - Raised By Gypsies

"Flav Martin & Jerry Marotta Soul Redemption Review by Gary Hill"

With Jerry Marotta as part of this (and Tony Levin as a guest) I had been expecting something along the prog or fusion lines of sound. While there are some hints of both of those things here, this is more in keeping with an adult contemporary and world music sound. It's melodic and quite pleasant. While it's not prog, it's an entertaining journey. This is the kind of thing that should appeal to a wide range of people.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Gary Hill - Music Street Journal

"The Secret Is Out...Flav Martin!"

On the contrary, Martin is an accomplished songwriter, guitarist, screenwriter, and bar stool philosopher, a man who has offered his talents to the community again and again. In concert is an opportunity to witness a man who has taken hard knocks and transformed them into a percussive style of play that has established his reputation as one of Rhode Island's most respected musicians...This, you think, is a man that you’d like to get to know... Of his music, he says, “I tap a lot, bang a lot…I’m a circus act, the sideshow guy”.

But Flav Martin is much more than a gimmick. He is a musician with a sense of history. Music is in his blood; his grandfather was the famous Italian opera star Giovanni Martinelli, and he spent his youth listening to his brother, Larry Martinelli, practice in their basement with a band lead by schoolmate Gene Klein, who later took the name Gene Simmons. That band, of course, became known as KISS...His description of his career as a musician is almost draconian, a series of near-misses and just-shy-of successes that seem, at times, laden with regret: at age 18, he tried unsuccessfully to give a demo tape to John Lennon in a Manhattan restaurant. Despite a burgeoning career, he took a hiatus when his daughter was born; even though he was opening for people like Tommy Emmanuel, David Crosby, and Suzanne Vega, even though he had opportunities to write music for well-known shows, even though he was surrounded by colleagues and friends who rose to success, he has yet to hit the big time...The music of Flav Martin is the antithesis of what the man says about himself; it is not self-effacing, nor regretful. It is music of clarity and vision. It is powerful, with the depth of an entire orchestra and with a complex history at its core. Beneath every note is the heat of rejection, and fatherhood, and lust, and grief; the music is driven by a confluence of emotion and intellect. His lyrics are remarkably simple, even austere;...It is the dichotomy of simplicity and complexity, this power to silence a crowd that sets Flav Martin apart from the other “almost famous” musicians in the world. These traits are not the mark of the obscure or the flash in the pan. They are, in fact, the mark of the Bob Dylans and the Tommy Emmanuels, the Jack Kerouacs of song, the modern troubadours who further their craft sometimes in the limelight, and sometimes behind the curtain. In this class of musician, we cease to speak of fame, because it no longer matters. Instead, we begin to speak of legends. - Megan Pillow contributing writer The Huffington Post,The Westerly Sun

"Flav Martin: "Indestructible"--Heartwarming And Naturral In Its Simplicity"

I begin here not knowing how I can give this album the proper reverence it deserves...this is an incredibly remarkable piece of music that will remain a mainstay of your collection.

August 3, 2015 - IndependentMusic News Headlines Video Music Stars

"Flav Martin--Skilled Guitarists Shows You Cn Do More Than Just Pluck Strings"

Flav (pronnounced Flahv) Martin has found a way to use all of the instrument with intricate techniques creating some beautiful melodies that sound as if a full band is performing...This 19 track record is a unique blend of rockin' anthems, innovative guitar work and soulful lyrics...Flav is a man that seems to be able to do what he wants with the 6-stringed instrument. There is something for everyone here.

Keith Pro - Indie Band Guru

"The Providence Journal"

The mighty Flav Martin, an incendiary acoustic whizzbanger guitarist from Westerly, RI. He's able to play guitar parts while mimicking bass and percussion at the same time. Martin’s recent CD includes jaw-dropping guitar work and witty, memorable songwriting ... You gotta see this guy”

Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal - Providence Journal

"Westerly This Week"

Flav is able to weave blissful hooks and catchy choruses with speed, harmonics and percussion, seemingly from another planet ... a singer-songwriter, guitarist extraordinaire.”

William Lord, Westerly This Week - Bill Lord

"The New Haven Register"

Well blended spices of funk, folk and rock, very well known for his innovative guitar work.
If someone in the music industry doesn't snatch up this guy then the music business is in worst condition than I thought.... - Fran Freid

"The Providence Phoenix"

Flav Martin (Wellspring Media Group)

Finger-picker Flav Martin weighs in with this five-song EP, recorded at the Dining Room and represented by the Wellspring Media Group out of Westerly. Martin, an incredibly dexterous guitar player, complements his playing with a gruff, romantic folk voice a la Cliff Eberhardt. "Colors," the opening track, features Martin comfortably alone with his acoustic, as does "With You." Both have Kottke-esque intros before plunging into more conventional folk-pop fare. "Not What It Seems," "Chameleon," and "Boundaries" have more fully fleshed-out arrangements, and while they have a sweet, Dave Mason-type quality to them, the solo acoustic tunes have a more visceral sense of style and hit their target more directly. - BOB GULLA

"The New Haven Advocate"

If you were part of the Connecticut pop scene of a decade ago, you might remember pop maven, virtuoso guitarist, singer-songwriter, producer and sometime bandleader Flav Martin (Flavio). His projects included the band Arrowhead, whose jammy acoustic work-outs now seem ahead of their time. Part folkie, part classical guitarist, part rock rebel, part-time studio production wizard, always entertaining and always enlightening. - Chris Arnott

"Flav Mentioned in British AL STEWART Archive"

He said that something had happened with his guitar (or amplifier?) in transit so he had an amp on loan from Flav Martin, a local guitarist that Al played with at the recent Westerly, RI show. He liked the way it sounded and seemed to want to play lots of rock riffs, but commented that he didn't know if that was appropriate, given the folk venue. As mentioned in the set list, Flav joined him on On the Border and Roads to Moscow and I thought he did a pretty good job. He and Al had a pretty good rapport for 2 musicians who only met 5 days ago. - http://www.page27.co.uk/page27/05passim.htm

"Acoustic Guitar Magazine Message Board Post on Flav Martin"

Flav Martin has more of a milder Michael Hedges style but with more emphasis on the singer songwriter side.
... I will say this however, this guy can bang out those tapping harmonics on the fret board like no one else I've seen... - Acoustic Guitar Magazine Online

"NoMaSoNHa Magazine October 2005"

FLAV MARTIN, CLUB PASSIM, AUGUST 25, 2005 (An Acoustic Evening with Al Stewart)

It is rare to see a musician step onto a stage with someone he barely knows, let alone someone he's not played with in the past, and make it work. But when you have a prodigious talent like acoustic guitarist Flav Martin facing the task, you can be sure he will master it.

He recently sat in with Folk legend AL STEWART, who invited Flav to accompany him on two songs during his show. How much rehearsal did they get, you wonder? Oh, they just "made it work during sound check..." But the audience would never know it.

Martin accented Stewart's lively performance beautifully, importing his own flavor, even though he was sitting in. Flav Martin is a virtuoso... - NoMaSoNHa Magazine

"Quotes of Celebrities Praise Flav Martin!"

David Santiniello -- Executive with United Entertainment Group -- "A tour de force... packed with talent!"

Tommy Emmanuel -- "Great stuff! I was jammin' along with him on the side of the stage."

David Crosby -- "Excellent material and player!"

Bruno Kirby (Actor: "The Godfather "Good Morning Vietnam")--"Lookin' forward to the next Flav Martin concert!"

John Cusack (Actor "High Fidelity," "Better Off Dead," "Runaway Jury," "Identity") -- "Very cool! And unusual ... best of The Bitter End!'"

Gene Simmons, KISS -- "A fantastic player."

Tom Mazza, Executive at Paramount, producer of "Cheers" -- "Terrific

Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat") -- "Fantastic -- we created magic!"

Pete Best -- "Terrific!"

Margie O'Brien - NBC-affiliated Morning Show Co-Anchor -- "Incredibly unique."

Ken Stroebel, The Norwich Bulletin -- "On the fast track!"

Kristina Dorsey, The New London Day -- "Progressive and entertaining."

Chris DiPaolo, Program Director WBLQ 96.9FM -- "Incomparable!"

Tina Schafer, NY Songwriters' Circle -- "He's the real deal." - various sources


Flav Martin

Love is Blind 1984

Waiting for Coffee 1989

Flav Martin with Arrowhead 1992

Arrowhead II 1995

Flav Martin Homespun 2003

Not What it Seems 2014

Indestructible 2015

Flav Martin & Jerry Marotta Soul Redemption 2017

Flav Martin Upcoming release, fall 2020, acoustic solo album working title "Pinky Swear" (recorded in caves and other cool places)



Video and audio samples can be found at www.youtube.com/flavmartin and www.flavmartin

FLAV MARTIN is a performer like you've never before experienced.  A "nice Italian boy" born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Martin writes and performs an eclectic blend of acoustic folk, pop, and rock music.

Recently Martin partnered with legendary drummer/producer Jerry Marotta to release their first collaborative album, "Soul Redemption." The band included Martin, Marotta and industry icons Tony Levin, Marc Shulman, and others. The extremely positive reviews sparked a 6 country tour in Europe in 2019 which included a pre-tour with Bucket List members Phil Keaggy,,Tony Levin, and Jerry Marotta.

Martin continues to take everyone by surprise with his catchy, well written songwriting, unique percussive style encompassing melody, rhythm, bass, and percussion simultaneously, and plethora of percussive instruments. He blends beautiful melodies with his innovative technique and voicing that leaves people saying,"How does he do that?"

Throughout his career he has played with and/or opened for David Crosby, Al Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Suzanne Vega, Aztec Two-Step, Denny Laine (Paul McCartney and Wings), Leo Kotke, Pete Best (The Beatles,) Davy Jones (The Monkees,) Cry of Love, Tommy Emmanuel, Chad and Jeremy, The Radiators, Wide Spread Panic, Steve Morse, Bucket List, and The Morning Show on NBC to name a few. Martin was also part of the 50th anniversary Woodstock celebration, including shows at the luthier convention with Larry Campbell, Khaki King and many others. Martin's most recent tour was with hunger bus owner Chakulla. Both artists spent a good amount of their careers helping charities and those in need. Martin's many writing credits include Saturday Night Live, PBS, Canon Films, and New York-based off-Broadway productions and various independent films.

Martin has been called "the guitarist's guitarist; soulful, sarcastic, funny, and at times romantic" all in one. He is a unique, approachable player who has performed at The Bitter End,The Spotlight,The Narrows, Stone Soup, Newport Yachting Center, Folk City, The Knitting Factory in New York, The Nassau Coliseum, The Bluebird in Nashville and other various cities north, south, east and west. Flav has also appeared on the Martin Stage in Austin, Texas, the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival in Mexico and the Misquamicut Music Festival in Rhode Island and many more venues throughout the United States and various other countries.Future projects include his music song in his native language of Italian as well as Spanish.

His music has been acclaimed by the media and some very well-known celebrities:

David Crosby -- "Excellent material and player!"

David Santaniello -- Executive with United Entertainment Group -- "A tour de force ... packed with talent!"

Tommy Emmanuel -- "Great stuff! I was jammin' along with him on the side of the stage."

Chad and Jeremy; "Flav is the 21st century's Richie Havens."

Tina Schafer, Bitter End Songwriters Circle-"The real deal."

His new release will be an acoustic solo record recorded in caves and other cool places throughout the world.

Journalist Gary Eskow for Mixed magazine says "what separates Flav Martin from the rest is that he's a triple threat. There's the elite guitarist group and top songwriters and premier vocalists, however the group that has all three is a very short list." 

Martin still pinches himself to think that he has played with:  Tommy Emmanuel, Phil Keaggy, Larry Coryell, Pierre Bensusan, Steve Morse, Leo Kottke and others. "How did this happen" he shrugs and smiles as he considers himself an acrobatic singer-songwriter and is honored to be in such company. Both Keaggy and Emmanuel consider Martin and his music to be very dynamic and  inspirational.

The new release will show Martin's raw talents as an acoustic guitarist/percussionist. Although some consider him "a legend in the making", (Megan Pillow Davis of The Huffington Post), Martin shrugs off those opinions--he just likes to play and inspire.