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K.K. Martin "Naked Blues Volume II"
The Blues has been a part of K.K. Martin's life for a very long time, in fact you could say he was baptized in the Blues before he was even born, as his mom loved listening to Jimmie Rodgers and Robert Johnson, while he was waiting to make his appearance in the world. At 10 years of age he was already touring with his parents and by 16 he had already landed a brief tour of duty in the Albert Collins backup band.
Over the years K.K. Martin has performed with the best including "Eric Burdon, Booker T, Rick Derringer, Johnny Winters, Blondie, and currently, Lester Chambers of famed R&B/Soul group The Chambers Brothers", to name a few. In 1999 K.K. received the "Outstanding Blues Artist Award" at the 9th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards.
Over the last decade K.K. Martin began to concentrate even more on the Blues and in doing so has recently released his second volume of Naked Blues. While he described Volume I as being more related to paying homage to Traditional Delta Blues, he created Volume II to "explore the connection between Traditional and more Modern Blues Artists."
When you look at the cover of "Naked Blues Volume II", there is nothing really fancy about it, just him standing there with his guitar with the list of tracks taking up most of the other side of the label, and in a way it sort of feels a little naked for an Album cover and that is probably the point. You see I believe that your talent has to shine in direct relation to how many members their is in the group. The more members, the more slight mistakes can be somewhat covered up. For "Naked Blues Volume II", K.K. Martin is however at the other end of the spectrum, because there is just him, his guitar, and a microphone, and thus his talent has to shine thru and shine thru brightly, and believe me, on this Album, is does all that and more.
"Naked Blues Volume II" consists of 10 Tracks, in which K.K. runs the gamut of playing homage to both the Past, and the Modern Masters of the Blues which forged his foundation of that genre.
When listening to "Naked Blues Volume II" you cannot be anything other then astonished, and not just because of the fact that it is just K.K. singing and playing, but also because of the fact that he is truly confident enough in his talent, that he was willing to perform and interpret outstandingly good songs from legends past and present and in doing so, he not only put his special mark on them, but I am sure he has and would have made the originators of the songs very proud.
From Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" to Tom Waits' "No One Can Forgive Me", K.K. Martin displays his outstanding knowledge, love, and interpretive ability for the blues. Other greats honored on this Album include Screamin' Jay Hawkins "Alligator Wine", Rory Gallagher "Too Much Alcohol", Johnny Winter "Dallas", Gary Davis "Slow Motion Daddy", Peter Green "Rattlesnake Shake", and Charlie Musselwhite "Your Darkest Hour". Tom Waits gets a second of his songs added to this Album via "Gin Soaked Boy". K.K. also pay tribute to his Grandmother, by playing a song he learned from her when he was a kid, called "Parish Blues".
Everything that is K.K. Martin comes thru loud and clear on "Naked Blues Volume II" including his wonderful vocals and magnificent guitar work. It is an Album of truly naked blues, stripped down for all to witness, as vulnerable as a new born baby, yet as confidently presented as only a seasoned master tradesman could have.
"Naked Blues Volume II" is an Album that I thoroughly enjoyed and will continue to thoroughly enjoy listening to. When it comes to the Blues, done, pretty well at it's rawest, K.K. Martin surely knows how to deliver.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. Rattlesnake Shake2. Slow Motion Daddy
3. Too Much Alcohol
4. Gin Soaked Boy
5. Alligator Wine
7. Parish Blues
8. No One Can Forgive Me
9. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
10. Your Darkest Hour
Listen To Samples Here...
About K.K. Martin
K.K. Martin was a founding member, lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for 80's-era band A La Carte. The group gained considerable renown as one of the most in-demand groups on the then-vibrant Sunset Strip music scene. Exposed in the womb to the music of Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, he began touring with his parents at age 10. K.K. 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.
Martin has performed with a Who's-Who in the music business including Eric Burdon, Booker T, Rick Derringer, Johnny Winters, Blondie, and currently, Lester Chambers of famed R&B/Soul group The Chambers Brothers.
K.K. was a recipient of "Outstanding Blues Artist" at the 9th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards in 1999. In the last decade, Louisiana native Martin has reconnected with his Blues roots. He toured with Lester Chambers of the 60's Chambers Brothers fame, recording a project with Lester called "Blues for Sale".
Martin has continued to play extensively throughout L.A. and Orange County as a solo act, recently performing at the First Annual Real Blues Festival of Orange County this past October. Most recently, Martin recently performed and was interviewed on Hollywood TV show Actors E Chat, where he is presently in the show's Top Ten Favorites list (click on link to watch segment). Moving forward, K.K. was the Featured Artist on American Veterans Radio the week of February 13-20, 2011. K.K. Martin plays the Blues as it was meant to be heard; a man, a microphone and a guitar.