Christina Martin – Old Cinema Launderette (Durham, UK – Valentine’s Day)
Another night, another great Launderette Sessions show. As is the case with the majority of the gigs I’ve been to this year, I was not that familiar with Christina Martin. I read some reviews and watch a YouTube video or two and was suitably impressed to get a ticket.
And I wasn’t disappointed. I spoke with Christina Martin and her husband, Nate Murray, before she played and they were charming and funny. We talked about other Canadian artists like Jenn Grant, Jill Barber and Jim Bryson, Nova Scotia where they are from the economics of touring – something I seem to talk about with a lot of people who I see who tour as a solo artist or a duo while their records are a more full-band sounding.
Christina confessed that most of her songs are about relationships and love, with some songs actually about Nate. They have been on the road in Europe since September and seeing the affection and kidding between Christina and Nate was nice to see.
The two of them manage to generate a classic country-folk sound that sounds light and fresh. I heard touches of Gina Villalobos and Lucinda Williams in Christina’s voice, which impressed me as much as the fantastic guitar playing of Nate. He had some wonderful flourishes and lead playing, as well as some beautiful lap steel playing that sounded more like a pedal steel than I have ever heard before.
I especially liked opening song ‘Water It’, ‘Two Hearts’, ‘The Bike Song’ and ‘Remember Me’ and ‘There Is A Light’ from a project that Christina worked on with Dr Kenneth Rockwood, at the Geriatric Medical Research and the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network (CDKTN). More information, stories and songs are available from www.christinamartin.net/rememberme/
Overall, a fantastic performance and show.
Opening the show was Caoilfhionn Rose, a singer and pianist who is currently studying at Newcastle University. Caoilfhionn opened with a version of Daughter’s ‘Peter’ and played a handful of her own delicate songs. I liked her songs and enjoyed her set.
She seemed nervous and I learned that this was the first time she’d played a gig outside of her native Manchester.
Her voice was beautiful and delicate and her piano was melodic and created a feeling of tension.