His biography describes him as someone who “sought solitude as often as he could find it.” A man who “wrote most days like his life depended on it…” A man who now tours full time with a growing fan base taming his solitude sought after state. A man named Jeffrey Martin.
From listening to his deep country based music, there is a simplicity that matches Martin’s image and background. Hailing from Oregon, a diverse state driven by agriculture and fishing, Martin’s music beautifully captivates the working class travails of both the modern man and a by gone age. In an era where life and society is sped up on a wheel of stress and timescales, Jeffrey Martin’s music slows the wheel down to a peaceful reminiscence. His deeply atmospheric guitar immediately grasps the attention of listeners and puts you in to a trancelike state of peace and bliss. This is nowhere more evident than in his loving song ‘Build a home.’ Nothing shows love more than wanting to improve the life of the person who has grasped these feelings.
The song begins with a simple strumming sequence on his acoustic guitar. It is soon met with that aforementioned atmospheric electric guitar, played so softly, like a gentle echo. This becomes entwined with an unmistakable scent of old country fiddle, played by his duo partner, Anna Tivel. This sound could be contemporary, from the golden age of American country music in the 1950s or even from the early twentieth century. It has an everlasting appeal with sound, structure and theme.
The first lines smoothly sung are “Follow this old river down to where the poppy grows.” Martin weaves his words with the landscape of Oregon that has inspired him and many a songwriter past and present. His verses flow like the river, taking you “past the mud and rust and all the broken bones…” capturing a natural beauty within the remains of man’s footprints and history. Idyllic comes to mind and this is where he wants to build his loved one a home. He is saying it may not be perfect but under the “mud and rust”, his love makes him want to build them a home besides the “cool water” of this river.
This bearded singer songwriter is a self-proclaimed working class man. In ‘Build a home’ he gently lays bare his emotions but doesn’t forget love takes work. Maybe building a home means building a foundation to his already found love but the line, “Work hard all day stone by stone for the night to come, there’s no sleep like that of tired bones” encapsulates his working attitude. He sings with a gentle determination, that he will do everything he can to show his love. Meanwhile, the simplicity of the music is felt with his mellow acoustic strumming, sporadically met with a faint electric guitar riff that sits almost apologetically above the acoustic. The choruses are lifted from the soft verses ever so slightly by that haunting fiddle, riding below the intricate electric guitar piece emulating through the delicate tones of Martin.
Martin manages to construct such a simple song with a simple message. The foundation of his love is played by the acoustic guitar. His words are his bricks and mortar, his uncomplicated love for this woman. The electric guitar pieces are his emotions ascending and descending culminating in a chorus in which he proclaims his love for a woman. In a sped up world with distractions spread far and wide, Jeffrey Martin takes us down a road many times tread upon, one built upon a charming soft melody and an uncomplicated story. This is a simple song to remind the listener of simpler times.