Brad Martin: An Extraordinary Country Talent

By Rob Greenwell

Brad Martin played Coyote's on April 12 as the third installment in the New Faces of Country Music Showcase. Martin is newly signed to Epic Records. His current single, "If I Knew Better," is a great country song that has all the essentials: drinkin, fightin, lyin', and realizing all the things that you did wrong the next day. He must have learned his craft from the legends of the business, because he has the appearance of a pure, traditional country artist.

It was refresh to see a traditional look from a new artist. Martin's ability to draw a crowd is also clear, especially given that he favors the legendary James Dean in the looks department. We all know the ladies loved him, but just because he may be handsome, don't forget to listen to his music, because this guy can sing.

The two things that most impressed me most were the additional of several old time classic songs to his show. He also put some fire under these songs, like Gary Allan, another purely traditional artist with a feeling for the classics, which really ignites a crowd. Martin's version of the Willie Nelson classic "Whiskey River" is a great example; he sped it up but made it still sounded great. He added several other classics including "Today, I Started Loving You Again" and one of the all-time classic Haggard songs, "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink."

Brad Martin is just an example of the move by new artists to more of a traditional style of country. I hope country music fans continue to make their voices heard and make the labels understand that they (and I) want a return to the real country music. Brad Martin makes for a good start.