JASON MARTIN – BEGGIN’ PLEASE: CHARISMATICALLY RAUCOUS ROCK N’ ROLL
Posted on 6th October 2018
Is there anything more aurally alchemic than the crunching reverb grinding from heavily distorted guitars? Didn’t think so. Which is exactly why the fuzzy first notes of Jason Martin’s latest single “Beggin’ Please from his upcoming album hooked me and didn’t let go until long after the single had ground to a sensuous halt. There’s a palpable urgency behind Beggin’ Please, which, you’d kind of hope for given the title, but the Nashville-based artist takes it to the next level of emotivity.
If you could imagine what the Black Keys would sound like without the commercialised polish of their music, you’d get a pretty good idea of how Jason Martin’s latest single pans out. Perhaps what I loved most about the single was the complete unpredictability of the guitar progression. The riffs and breakdowns come out of nowhere, yet you keep entrenched in the chaos of the melody in true punk style and plenty of Nashville Blues rhythm.
Beggin’ Please is just one of the sensational hits off Jason’s upcoming album “Alcatraz” which was released on October 5th. Head on over to Facebook for more info, tour dates, or grab yourself some merch.
Review by Amelia Vandergast
Baton Rouge native Jason Martin, is releasing his new album Alcatraz on October 5, 2018. DIG sat down with Jason to chat about coming home, inspiration, and the making of Alcatraz.
What’s your favorite thing about returning to BR and playing for a home crowd?
Seeing my family and friends for sure, I sometimes book shows JUST to come see them, birthdays, holidays and stuff like that. I also get to play with my best friends, I have a band in Nashville and a band in BR, when I travel, I use one band or the other depending where I’m playing in the country. Some of us have played together for over 15 years, we’re getting old.
The title of your album Alcatraz is the Spanish word for pelican, the state bird of Louisiana. What about being from Louisiana made you want to name your second LP after it?
Being from Louisiana is a badge of honor for me, I try to reference a little taste of it in most of my music. I’ve visited a good bit of places in my day, Louisiana becomes more and more special every time I go somewhere else, there ain’t no place like it, especially the dirty.
Are there any bands that inspired your rock and roll sound?
ZZ Top, that’s it.
The making of this album seemed to be a very personal journey for you, according to your website.
Yea, the recording process was pretty awesome. I didn’t have the money to record in a studio, or even a dead room, so we recorded in the house I lived in when I first moved to Nashville, lots of good times were had there and we got to have one more before we lost access to it.
Is there anything you hope people get from this album?
As far as what I hope people take away from the record, I’m just happy people listen to it, lol. If someone interprets some sort of deep meaning from any of the songs, that’s just a cherry on top. Some songs are about specific times/people that I’ve crossed paths with, some are literally about nothing and no one and in my opinion, they don’t necessarily have to be.
Jason Martin fills his second album with crunchy, riffing rock. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitarist from Baton Rouge recorded “Alcatraz” during a five-day period in Music City. The album’s only nonoriginal song, a take on Thin Lizzy’s “It’s Only Money,” fits easily into Martin’s Lenny Kravitz, Billy Squier, Led Zeppelin ethos.
The album’s opening track, “Blow,” with its sprinting tempo and fuzzy guitar riffs, veers between punk and garage rock. The incendiary guitar solo Martin rips through during the song recalls Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi in full 1970s flight. Martin’s vocals are low in the mix and distorted, a choice that makes them more a part of the whole than the main attraction.
“Ugly,” another blast of garage rock, suggests the influence of Martin’s fellow Nashville resident, rock star Jack White. Although White seems Martin’s most obvious point of departure for “Ugly,” Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, Squier and others who wielded guitars decades before White are clearly part of the song’s ancestry.
“Alcatraz” alternates loud, fast songs with softer, slower selections. One of the latter tracks, “Colorado,” is a good example of Martin’s skillful songwriting. Nearly a ballad, “Colorado” benefits from Martin’s melodic, reverb-sweetened guitar solo.
Martin turns heavy again with “Hate Me.” It’s more evidence of Martin’s songwriting talent, but it also displays the derivativeness that can show up in many of his compositions. The world doesn’t need another White, Squier or Kravitz — but there’s a place for Martin’s original voice and songs that are uniquely his.
The track “Black Hole” may point to an individualistic direction for Martin. Set to waltz time, the spare, not-quite country torch song stands like a flower in a field of rock.
Jason Martin and his band plays with 12 Stones and Burnhouse on Saturday at Bottle & Tap, 11445 Coursey Blvd. Doors open at noon. $15 advance via eventbrite.com; $25 day of. facebook.com/bottleandtapbr; facebook.com/JasonMartinBand.