The Martin Brothers first performed as a band in 2007. However, the boys have been around the block. Tom and Joe have been members of The Puddletown Ramblers bluegrass band for several years. Bill plays old-time music with Uncle Wiggily and is a prominent Northwest old-fashioned square dance caller and editor of Old-Time Music in Portland.
We caught the music bug around 1960 when elder brother Jim came home on leave with a stack of folk music records, Weavers song books, and a guitar. Also in our background were our fiddling grandfather and two uncles. At home our mother sang to us constantly and played the old pump organ. She encouraged us mightily and gave our musical efforts that most necessary early affirmation.
Our lives pulled us in different directions but we have finally reached the point where, if we don't become an official band now, we'll soon be too danged old to do it. We love the old bluegrass and country sound a la The Stanley Brothers, Carl Smith, The Watson Family, Hank Williams, The Carter Family and the like. It ain't pretty but it rocks.
Toad "Tom" Martin: Born long ago in Vancouver, Washington. Tom and Bill first played bluegrass and old-time in the mid-1960s. Tom is a grandfather, a veteran, a Ferrari mechanic, and a banjo maker. And, needless to say, he plays the banjo in our band as well as the guitar.
Fatboy "Bill" Martin: Born long ago in Vancouver, Washington. Bill has played bluegrass since the mid-1960s. He is a journeyman printer, a machine fabricator, and a traditional style square dance caller. Bill is the author of www.bubbaguitar.com and a contributor to The Old-Time Herald magazine. In the band he plays guitar, dobro and harmonica.
Cow Eyes "Joe" Martin: Born long ago in Vancouver, Washington. Little brother began playing music with us much later in life. Joe runs a plumbing business and is a grandfather. In the band he plays the bass and sings the harder to reach high harmonies (a side-effect of breathing sewer gas.)