Martha Redbone Roots Project

Nothing but Love for Martha Redbone’s new album:  The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake, Produced by Grammy Award Winner John McEuen!

 “An organic, gorgeous feast for ears and minds.” Dusty Wright, Huffington Post

In a brilliant collision of cultures, the powerful blues and soul singer Martha Redbone has recorded an album called “The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake,” which was produced by John McEuen, of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In it, the mystical, humanistic words of the eighteenth-century English poet are fused with the melodies, drones, and rhythms of the Appalachian string-band music that Redbone absorbed as a child from her grandparents, in Black Mountain, Kentucky.” The New Yorker

“Blake is always less obscure in Songs of Innocence and Experience mode, and between Redbone’s lucid, subtle force and the modernized Appalachian settings she fits to the poet’s stanzas, she’s created a new body of folk song by a lyricist who compares favorably to, well, Bob Dylan….A major find…” Robert Christgau, MSN Music

“…a thick, satisfying stew of twangy Americana and chugging harmonies sent soaring by Martha Redbone’s earthy, gospel-infused vocals. Redbone has got charisma and sincerity to spare, and clearly feels Blake’s poetry in her skin and bones, from its naturalistic splendor to its melancholic but ultimately celebratory take on the human experience.” Peter Chianca, Gatehouse News

“A truly hypnotic and eloquent roots Americana exploration, The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake beautifully and unexpectedly matches two powerful voices, two centuries, continents, and cultures apart. The mastermind is Martha Redbone, an Independent Music Award winner renowned for blending Native American vibes from her Cherokee and Choctaw background with R&B grooves, blues, and dashes of Appalachian folk.” Jonathan Widran, All Music

“a delightful surprise….Terrific album.” Robert Siegel, NPR’s All Things Considered

Martha Redbone performing at Globalfest 2013 Photo credit: Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Martha Redbone performing at Globalfest 2013 Photo credit: Ebru Yildiz for NPR

“Martha Redbone’s music chronicles the crossroads of the American experience. Born in Kentucky and of Cherokee, Choctaw and African-American descent, Redbone combines folk, Appalachian, soul and Native tradition in a group of settings of poetry by William Blake — a startling idea, perhaps, but one that brims with potency and freshness.” Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR

“Once described as “the Aretha Franklin of Indian Country,” [Martha] has a blues-soul voice that’s the right blend of depth and gentleness to fit the indelible words and the graceful string-band music.” Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake,” is one of those out-of-the-blue surprises that make critics respond with raves like “brilliant” and “a major find.” Turns out the words of the 19th-century English Romantic poet are a perfect fit with the Appalachian string-band sound Redbone heard as a child in Black Mountain, Kentucky. The arrangements (written with Aaron Whitby and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen), Blake’s language, and Redbone’s voice – sometimes a mountain holler, sometimes a sweet caress – add up to something genuinely new and exciting.” Pamela Espeland, Minn Post

“….one of those wonderful meetings of minds and culture that comes along once in a while that literally takes your breath away.” Richard Marcus, Blogcritics

Click here to read an article about Martha in USA Today.

“The Garden Of Love – Songs Of William Blake isn’t quite like anything you’ve ever heard…Filled with rustic Americana charm, the album offers up visions of coal mines, simple living and her Shawnee and Cherokee ancestors living at one with the land.” Pollstar

“Well, I just heard an angel singing…gracious!…” Bob Edwards, Sirius Satellite

“The album’s title song, “Garden of Love,” is a masterful introduction to the project, kicking off with a searing acoustic blues lick leading into Redbone’s powerful voice. Here McEuen’s production skills shine as he perfectly swells the music up slowly behind Redbone’s vocals before kicking the band into full gear. It’s the biggest high note on an album that is chock full of them….Whether you’re a fan of William Blake or a guy who barely scraped through Lit 101, any appreciator of good Appalachian blues needs to run out and buy a copy of Martha Redbone’s “Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake.” It is a rare album that works on all level, appealing to the literary mind, the audiophile, and the person who just wants to sit back and listen to something soothing to wind down from a busy day.” Chris Griffy, Examiner

No. 1 in The Best Albums of 2012! “Brilliant fusion of Americana and Britannia.”  Musician & Author Ted Gioia

 “Visionary….definitely one of the best folkroots albums of 2012.” Pieter Wijnstekers, Popmagazine Heaven (The Netherlands) 

“John McEuen & Dave Hoffner executed a spotless job in producing the entire disc while the recording work of Hoffner, Nick Sevilla, and Aaron Whitby is exquisite, not layered as one might expect but wondrously holistic, a miniature world. Redbone’s voice is here gospelly serious and joyous, there whispery and filigree gentle, elsewhere exuberant, gamboling in the fields and meadows Blake so loved, though she’s transplanted the English acreage to American plains and bayous. Nor does she miss the tones of the alternatingly genteel and wrenching plaints Blake indited, his constant métier.” Mark S. Tucker, Acoustic Music

“Martha Redbone’s new collection The Garden Of Love sings of the earth, skies of blue & grey, hard birth & easy death. It sings a poem of prophecy whispered by the oldest tree in the farthest corner of the valley. It sings of leaving & returning & of the equanimity of Angels. Martha’s voice itself is the very sound of the dreams of hills and rivers- Homebound & Restless; interpreting the hauntingly lovely words of William Blake with the power of a storm & the gentleness of a breeze.” Vernon Reid

“The combination of a modern soul singer, an 18th-century Romantic poet and bluegrass music shouldn’t work, at least on paper.  However, when there are talented people like Martha Redbone and John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band involved, the results can be fantastic.  Redbone and collaborator Aaron Whitby drew from the works of William Blake and McEuen and a host of talented musicians helped recast the poems as bluegrass songs.  The resulting songs sound more like Harlan County than Blake’s native London, and Redbone’s vocals are gorgeous throughout.  For music lovers, discovering hidden gems like this album is the equivalent of finding a winning lottery ticket on the street.” Sam Gazdziak Country Universe’s Top Albums of 2012

“Martha Redbone is a charismatic indie-soul diva whose sound is a just-right mix of retro and modern.” Time Out New York 

“…startling…lovely.” John Schaefer, WNYC’s Soundcheck

“…a perfect slice of Americana” Zach Hudson, Hearth Music & No Depression

“The manner in which Martha Redbone has stamped her own personality all over Blake’s work is both masterful and courageous and should really make her name synonymous with the old cockney proponent of the American Revolution for as long as people make music and read poetry.”  Tim Merricks, Americana UK

“…one of 2012’s under-the-radar gems…. a gorgeous mélange of sounds, influences, and textures that represents not only Redbone’s multicultural heritage, but also the numerous influences found in American folk and roots music.” Juli Thanki, Engine 145 

Redbone and collaborator Aaron Whitby put music to the great poet’s verses, and the resulting recording was produced by John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Blake’s nature-driven Romantic poems and his belief in racial and sexual equality fit perfectly with Redbone’s own Native American and soulful roots in Appalachia, and her activist spirit. Mixing honky tonk, bluegrass, gospel, and ballad, this is truly American music at its best-and that’s what cabaret celebrates. This album is both something audaciously new and comfortingly old, and an artistic risk that has paid off big-time. A CD for the ages.” Kevin Scott Hall, Edge New York City

“…nothing short of genius….. The music is not merely an incidental vehicle for the enlightened words of Blake, but a masterful tribute to the roots of American music, delving back to Redbone’s Native American ancestry.” Yve Lepkowski, The Aquarian Weekly

“The Garden of Love is a 12-track CD filled with moving songs that are masterfully crafted and performed with near perfection. I really don’t want to sound like I’m gushing, but I’ll be danged if I’m not into my fourth listen from start to finish as I’m writing this review.” Dan Harr, Music News Nashville

“It is a call to the individual soul, a call that connects an eighteenth century Englishman with nineteenth century Americans and a twenty-first century woman artist: Martha Redbone…” Daniel Garrett, The Compulsive Reader

“Redbone’s unique concept is chillingly beautiful. The incorporation of truly American instruments from many cultures is seamless, and with Redbone’s tremendously lush and powerful voice driving these haunting poems, she paints a vivid landscape of Appalachia, as if the trees, rivers and mountains were all singing with one, aching, all-knowing voice. Produced by Grammy-Award winning John McEuen, this is such a thorough, thoughtful and heartfelt album, I’m truly floored by the talent behind it, and the enchanting grace that pervades every note. You simply must get this album. ” Brent Fleury, The Bold

“Redbone gets to the core of Blake’s words, adding soul and swing to poems that were penned 200 years ago… The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake is a landmark album that should propel her (Martha Redbone) to the forefront of the folk scene.” Hans Werksman, Here Comes The Flood 

5 STAR review! “‘The Garden of Love’ has pleasing radiance. You can’t ask much more than to have your music served up raw, rootsy and full of such emotional depth.”  Joe Ross, Roots Music Report

“The Garden of Love is a pure slice of knee-slapping organic folk from another time and place. Redbone has a great bluesy style of singing that is immediately inviting and effective. It’s easy to see why folks are drawn to Martha’s music. She’s genuine, she’s real, and she’s also genuinely and really talented….Beautiful music from a beautiful heart. Top pick.” babysue

“Apart from the fact that this is a remarkable recording in terms of Redbone’s liquid vocals and the harmonious blend of McEuen’s instruments (banjo, guitar, dubro, fiddle, mandolin, autoharp, dulcimer),the combining of music with William Blake’s “songs” is an amazing achievement.  It is as though this 18th century poet’s work has been quietly waiting for Martha Redbone.  After all, Blake always called his poems “songs,” suggesting that they were meant to be sung.  Here they are then!  After over two centuries, finally, exquisitely complete.”  Gary Carden, Smoky Mountain News

“The Martha Redbone Roots Project is a real beauty.” Noel Casey, Dublin City FM

“Beautiful…I love her voice…” Baron Lane, Twang Nation

“A revelation” Jeffrey Sisk, Daily News, PA

“…simply gorgeous….If you’re into Americana, you should have this in your collection.” Stephen Carradini, Independent Clauses

“Martha has a rich, soulful voice (which hints at her previous musical outings) that reveals a world-wise spirit (as befits a woman who has seen towns of her youth stripped mined out of existence) and the crew she’s assembled surely know their way around instrumental backroads.” Jordan Bodewell, Sepiachord

“Een krachtige folk stem, die me soms doet denken aan Dolly Parton en me even later Joan Armatrading in de herinnering roept. Behalve folky kun je haar stem ook omschrijven als soulfull, emotioneel weet ze je te pakken!” Benny Mulder, Real Roots Cafe

Click here to see a recent LIVE performance of the title track at 92nd Y Tribeca.

Click to see a preview of Martha’s upcoming WoodSongs broadcast .

Martha Redbone, photo by Fabrice Trombert
photo by Michael Goldman

Martha Redbone performing with John McEuen at 92nd Y Tribeca, Photo: Michael Goldman

For more information:

For bookings, please contact:
Jef Pertzborn “Pertz”

SRO Artists, Inc.
6629 University Ave., #206, Middleton, WI 53562
608.664-8161 fax

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