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Water It: Christina Martin Out To Grow On Debut UK Tour

Thursday, 30 January 2014 Written by Mark Muggeridge

Having meticulously honed her sound since the release of her debut, ‘Pretty Things’, back in 2002, Canadian singer-songwriter Christina Martin is now gearing up for a first UK tour, which gets underway on February 5 at the Slaughtered Lamb in London.

Martin’s sound is a classic mix of Americana and pop, and a reflection of her influences. Having grown up on a steady diet of Tom Petty and Roy Orbison, she’s added another contemporary twist on her latest record, ‘Sleeping With A Stranger’.

Her UK shows will be intimate, stripped back affairs, with Martin accompanied by her husband, Dale Murray, on lapsteel and ready to trade stories with any hecklers who might get carried away.

Dale is touring with you on this run of dates through the UK. What’s it like working professionally with and touring with someone you’re so close to?

I feel very lucky that Dale and I work well together professionally and personally. Perhaps it works because our communication is good, our work ethic and taste in music are similar, we know when something is worth discussing or arguing about, and we know when to put our egos aside and focus on the overall goal of a project.  Where one of us has weaknesses, the other is often stronger, so we help each other out and we know what we are working towards.

This first tour of the UK is you and Dale on stage, you’re not touring with a full band. So what can we expect from your shows this time around?

Like all our duo performances, the audiences can expect a bit of insight and storytelling behind some of the songs. We try to do the songs that do not suffer from my rhythm section not being present. I hope to be able to bring my band with me on future UK tours. Although it is a different show than when I play with my band, a different energy, I think that people who like my music and are interested in what I write about won’t be disappointed. I always try to engage my audience if they are open to it.

Every show he plays his parts a little bit different, so it is interesting for me, and together we create a full, rich sound. Dale tells me that the UK audiences are quite the hecklers. I really enjoy shows where there is a bit of back-and-forth between the audience and me. [It] makes it more enjoyable and fun between my serious songs.

There is a strong storytelling element to your work and some of the songs on your current album, ‘Sleeping With A Stranger’ seem quite personal.

I am always collecting stories and writing in my journal, so that work happens almost daily. There were some key events that shaped some of the songs, such as Take My Body Home, which is a song based on a man who took his own life near our home in Port Howe, Nova Scotia.

Marina is a song about a girl I knew in Austin Texas, and I realised while writing the song how much her life mirrored my own life at that time. I started writing Sally after a brief encounter with a waitress in Penticton, British Columbia, and then finished the song based on her story years later.

But listeners can always find tracks where I write about my own experiences and feelings. The title track was written when I was at a crossroads in my own life musically and professionally. Now it seems the song is about a character who wants to live a certain kind of life, but there are obstacles in the way; physical, financial, emotional.

I think it has always felt like more of a relief to finally find words to describe an emotional experience or event that I have been exposed to. When I was younger, I had a hard time finding the words. I remember holding a lot inside, not really knowing how to speak about important things that were upsetting or confusing. I don’t really feel exposed, instead I find performing quite liberating, and I enjoy the process of trying to find the right words.

I write about what interests me, and what I’m trying to understand, but I can never guess whether my songs or stories will interest anyone else. I simply write about experiences that are important to me and hope that the songs connect with others in some way, like many independent artists working in the music business today.

Christina Martin UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Wed February 05 2014 - LONDON Slaughtered Lamb
Thu February 06 2014 - BRIGHTON Latest Bar
Fri February 07 2014 - MILTON KEYNES Stables
Sat February 08 2014 - ST IVES Dolphin Hotel
Sun February 09 2014 - FARNHAM Maltings
Tue February 11 2014 - LOWDHAM Old Ship Inn
Wed February 12 2014 - MATLOCK Fishpond
Thu February 13 2014 - BURY Met
Fri February 14 2014 - DURHAM Launderette
Sat February 15 2014 - HALIFAX Square Chapel
Sun February 16 2014 - STOWMARKET John Peel Centre

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