“People seem to carry stereotypical views of California as this paradise brimming with beaches, stars, and surfers,” says Los Angeles singer-songwriter Jakob Martin. True, those things exist, but from all his travels Jakob Martin knows that that’s such a small part of the state, which is also home to empty land, farmland, desert, mountains and forest. “I saw that as a terrific metaphor – life anywhere, even in paradise, contains so much more depth, imagination, sadness, hope and intensity than people might realize.” Consequently, California Songs, Jakob’s forthcoming full-length album, is about one artist’s exploration of a life in paradise and the complications that come along with it. “The poet John Berryman was known for his ‘dream songs’ – a series of lyrical poems exploring emotions brought on by everyday events,” says Jakob. “People often talk about the California Dream, and California Songs is a play on that.”
California Songs will independently release as a digital-only album on June 28th, 2011. It follows Jakob Martin’s 2010 EP Leave The Light On, both showcasing his distinctly down-home edge of blues harp that cuts through a blend of piano-driven pop, rock and folk. Produced by Dan Diaz of Hypothetical Studios, California Songs is an attempt to explore the Californias of the mind, heart and imagination.
Jakob Martin released the first single from the album, “When It’s Time,” on May 24. A lullaby in its nature, Jakob says this song became an anthem to his own strength and a reminder to hang on because there’s always something better out there. “When It’s Time” is now available to purchase on iTunes.
Throughout his career, Jakob has always humbly proven himself as an artist, even when landing big supporting gigs with artists like Blues Traveler, Everclear, Glen Philips and Hellogoodbye. He’s also a good-humored man who’s proud of his roots. He’ll be the first to tell you that at age three he invented his first stage name, Stevie Blue Jay, and sang his original song “Where Can I Get Raw Pizza?” with a nylon-stringed guitar his mom gave him.
But the road hasn’t always been so bright. In 2004, Jakob lost his mother unexpectedly to breast cancer. Less than two weeks later, one of his best friends and band mates was hit and killed by a train. “Oddly enough, I’ve gained a lot of perspective, strength, and optimism from the experience, and a sense of aliveness I wasn’t capable of reaching before that,” says Jakob.
On California Songs, it’s clear that this deeply personal songwriter never puts out a song that doesn’t have a whole lot of him and at least a little bit of hope in it, regardless of what it’s about. “I think in that way, my music definitely echoes my life.”
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
05.27 Los Angeles, CA @ Pi on Sunset
06.16 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
06.17 Scottsdale, AZ @ Edwin’s House Concerts
06.18 Show Low, AZ @ Knock the Blues out of Hunger Festival
08.13 Redding, CA @ Vintage
09.14 San Luis Obispo, CA @ Linnaeas Café
09.16 Coloma, CA @ American River Music Festival
09.17 Redding, CA @ Vintage
11.17 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
(Special thanks to Laura Goldfarb at Red Boot Publicity for an incredibly written press release)