John Arthur martinez Releases 11th Album

John Arthur martinez Releases 11th Album

        The road toward the completion of You Play My Heart, the new
recording my john Arthur martinez, began in the hills south of Columbus,
Ohio in a city called Chillicothe, most famous for the overpowering
odors of the Mead Paper Factory and through the motorways Switzerland,
France, & Austria, through the streets of Washington, D.C. near
Dupont Circle, back home to his unpaved street in Cottonwood Shores.
        john Arthur martinez spent a brutal winter in the early 1990s in
the original capital of Ohio, Chillicothe, learning the art &
science of recording with the intent that one day he could and would
produce his own albums and those of his Austin area friends. He returned
with his certification from The Recording Workshop to begin a studio
with local businessman Gib Shackelford in West Horseshoe Bay.  With the
assistance of recently deceased engineer Steve Mendel, experienced
session pros like Eric Butler and a slew of Austin greats they created
On the Border in 1992.
        Twenty years later JAM returns to making his own records and
releases You Play My Heart, mixed and overdubbed in his Cottonwood
Shores studio in the hills overlooking Lake L.B.J. and Wirtz Dam and the
Fiddletrax home studio of former Lonestar fiddler Kurt Baumer.  Casey
Hubble, Fredericksburg singer-songwriter and recording engineer, and he
recorded the basic tracks, that is, the drums, bass, rhythm guitars and
scratch vocals in a converted garage just west of Fredericksburg, The
Little “d” Art Ranch & Recording Studio.  Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox
accordion and vocal overdubs were recorded at Guzman’s home studio in
Cottonwood Shores.
        “It’s definitely been more rewarding to have a hand in the
recording of every take, every solo, every vocal. And while the mixing
process can be all consuming it’s so much fun to shape the sound to
where it sounds like me live,” martinez explains. “After all, the
musicians are the same players I tour Europe with, the same cats you’ll
see at my regular gigs at the River City Grille in Marble Falls or Crazy
Gals Cafe in Burnet.”

Track by Track Notes:

1. The lead single and the lead track on the album, “You Don’t Mean To
Hurt Me,” is the story of one of his devoted fans from DFW who he met at
a Luckenbach, TX Harley Rally and concert. “I could see that Doc (JAM’s
Dallas area fan) had a sadness in his eyes even though he always smiled
when I saw him.  He shared fragments of his story over the years. When
he heard the finished song he told me every word of it really happened
to him–even the parts I thought I was making up,” martinez explained.
Hill Country resident Pauline Reese performs the female echo lines of
the chorus.

2. “The Open Road” begins with a man in a tough economic situation
losing his job at the factory in his “right to work hick town” which
leads to his fiancee losing faith in him and how he deals with it all. 
The song ends with the protagonist’s rejection of the non-stop gloom and
doom news of the economy. “I don’t read the paper–enough recession
news. I’d rather see the sun set than the evening news.” –excerpt from
“The Open Road”

3. “You Play My Heart” is a Latin-flavored song about the passion a man
feels when he’s in the arms of his lover using the Spanish guitar, a
violin, and a mandolin as metaphors for his reaction to her touch. The
song is co-penned by Horseshoe Bay, TX songstress Jan Landry, formerly
of London, England.

4. “Sing Me Back Home” is one of Merle Haggard’s signature songs.
 Consistent with what he’s done on previous recordings and what he’s
been doing at his live shows throughout his career, martinez takes the
second verse and second chorus into Spanish with Mike Blakely provided
the harmony vocals in a blend of country and Mexican bolero grooves.

5. “It’s What I Do” was born on the motorways between Switzerland and
France. “Our Peugot bus broke down and in the lonely down time in a
small French village with no cell service or internet I wrote this
“missing you” song for my wife Yvonna, who understands that my work
often takes me away from her arms, but who also knows that she’s always
in my thoughts and therefore in my creative works,” martinez shared.

6. “Emmylou’s Guitar” is about what martinez calls “a surreal morning at
the Mansion on O Street in D.C. where I awoke and began my quest for
coffee then spotted a beautiful blonde guitar made of maple atop one of
the antique desks overlooking O Street near Dupont Circle.” It turns out
the guitar was handmade by Gibson for Emmylou Harris and that she had
signed it and given it as a gift to the owners of this incredible
mansion, a place filled with secret passageways, hidden corridors, and
bedroom suites, like where he sleep, that opened up seemingly out of
nowhere behind door sized mirrors or bookcases.

7. “Dare to Dream Out Loud” he dedicates to his friend Leo Manzano from
his hometown high school in Marble Falls. Manzano, who overcomes humble
circumstances like lack of adequate shoes to pursue his passion of
running, wins state championships, a scholarship to the University of
Texas, and eventually a Silver Medal at the 2012 London Olympics. “The
first verse is about single mom’s like my sister Terry and my wife
Yvonna, before she met me, who overcome adversities to achieve success
in there careers,” martinez adds.

8. “Learn to Dance in the Rain,” co-written with Jan Landry was inspired
by a phrase he read repeatedly on Facebook he revealed. “Jan and I both
try to find petal of joy even in a garden of gravity,” he says. “If it
seems the rain keeps coming down, rather than hiding behind the living
room curtains, step outside and learn to dance in the rain.”

9. “Tennessee Left Texas” is not just an attempt to pander to his fellow
Texas and Tennessee fans he says, “Instead it’s a true story about a
beautiful 4 year old girl my co-writer Rick Bussey and I met in Bertram,
Texas’ Crazy Gals Cafe, where we both performed. Tennessee’s mother
left Tennessee’s father to take a job out west taking the brown-eyed
girl  out of the state of Texas.”

10. “Loneliest Star in Texas” is an ode to the Western Swing band Asleep
at the Wheel and their forefathers Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. He
explains the lyrics, “Picture a drive late into the night where the
bandleader, me, is half-Asleep at the Wheel, and confronted by a
torrential West Texas rain which exposes the flaws in the used van’s
poorly installed sunroof, who then pulls into a convenience store to buy
an umbrella so that he can drive the rest of the way home. Of course,
the band is in the back sleeping off the night of overconsumption!”

11. I Know How To Fall is co-written with Wake Eastman, an Austin area
songwriter. Eastman had just persuaded former Lonestar fiddler Kurt
Baumer to move to Texas. “During one of Kurt’s first gigs with me in the
poorly lit light behind our stage area at a local club, Kurt tripped
down the stairs carrying my Mackie mixer,” martinez elaborates.
“Concerned about the fall Wake and I rush to see if he’s okay and he
responds, ‘The mixer’s allright. It didn’t hit the ground. I know how to
fall.’ Wake and began writing the song in our heads right on the spot!”

12. Cajita Milagros is about a distant relative of martinez. He
explains. “My dad’s brother’s wife’s mother, a Mexican curandera, used
to cure the country folks in the farmlands northeast of Austin with
herbal remedies and prayer, using plants like peppermint, chamomile,
aloe vera, etc. My wife loves this because she’s a modern day curandera
who’s encouraged me to use herbal and homeopathic cures to relieve my
serious allergy issues.” Because of his wife’s influence he is no longer
dependent his old routine of anti-histamines, allergy shots,
antibiotics and steroids. Grammy winners Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox
handle the background vocal duties as Guzman adds his signature
accordion.  Young gun Caleb Rojas adds a Santana-like guitar, and Kurt
Baumer plays the haunting fiddle lines.
Bonus Track: Toca Mi Corazon is the all Spanish version of the title
track, with the percussion of Brazilian Luiz Coutinho de Souza mixed out
from, and with the electric guitars of Caleb Rojas and the fiddle of
San Antonio veteran Ron Knuth.

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