Swamp Pop Powerhouse Gregg Martinez Returns with Soul of the Bayou on Louisiana Red Hot Records
On his latest collection, Soul of the Bayou, Gregg Martinez delivers the deep, healing kind of soul that only this multi-octave vocalist knows how to conjure. Produced and engineered by Grammy award-winning Tony Daigle (Hunter Hayes, John Cleary), Martinez’s 11th studio album showcases his astounding versatility as a vocalist and performer. While the funky, soul-driven grooves of “I Can’t Stand the Rain” and “If You Want Me to Stay” prove that Martinez can still pack the dance floor, the mournfully piercing ballads of “Who’s Loving You” and “You’ve Got to Hurt Before You Heal” remind listeners that this is a voice of a man who has lived through it all. Soul of the Bayou shines with carefully selected covers such as the tear-jerker “I Wish I’d Never Loved You at All,” originally recorded by the legendary tenor Johnny Adams (one of Martinez’s personal favorites) but his original tunes run the gamut from comedic shuffles to a bluesy reminiscence. There are stellar, standout performances from Charles Ventre on keyboards, Gregg Kingston on slide guitar, and Pat Breaux on sax, not to mention all the grit guitar titan Sonny Landreth offers on “That Old Wind.
A premier, powerhouse vocalist from the Spanish Creoles of Louisiana’s Bayou Lafourche, Gregg Martinez grew up in a French-speaking family. Developing a standout voice at a young age, the sensationally soulful Gregg Martinez was performing in local churches and bars and garnering comparisons to Sam Cooke and Luther Vandross. His formidable vocal presence was perfectly suited to Louisiana Swamp Pop, pioneered by acts like the legendary Boogie Kings, Warren Storm, TK Hulin and Rob Bernard. The genre is indigenous to Cajun country and the eastern border of Texas – it combines New Orleans R&B, country and French influences. Though obscure, Swamp Pop has a passionate following in those regions and a small but growing cult following in the UK, Europe and Japan.
The young Martinez rapidly ascended to touring nationally, all the way to an exclusive contract with billionaire Donald Trump in Atlantic City (which has not damaged his career!) and a seven-figure recording deal with multi-platinum Philly producers Victor Carstarphen and Keith Benson. He toured all over the world in the next years while also doing educational outreach. When the bubble burst on the brink of stardom, Martinez found himself returning to his native Bayou, crooning the Blues and Soul of his roots, ultimately bringing him the recent incredible honor of singing for the funeral of the great Percy Sledge.
Martinez’s second Louisiana Red Hot Records release Soul of the Bayou soars out of the swamps to deliver timeless music with universal appeal. Martinez celebrates the local release of his new album on March 2nd at New Orleans Rock ‘N’ Bowl. The national release on April 29th coincides with his return to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Sunday, May 1st.
Gregg Martinez Live:
Thursday, February 25 Coushatta Casino Resort Kinder, LA
Wednesday, March 2 Rock N Bowl New Orleans, LA
Friday, March 4 Le Triomphe/solo Broussard, LA
Saturday, March 5 Mojo’s at Evangeline Downs Opelousas, LA
Wednesday, March 9 Bocat’s at Cypress Bayou Casino Charenton, LA
Saturday, March 19 VFW Orange, TX
Tuesday, March 29 Loco’s at Cypress Bayou Casino Charenton, LA
Sunday, April 3 2:30pm Cypress Sawmill Festival Patterson, LA
Friday, April 22 7:00pm Étouffée Festival Arnaudville, LA
Saturday, April 23 3:00pm Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum Biloxi, MS
Sunday, May 1 12:00pm New Orleans Jazz Fest New Orleans, LA
Friday, May 13 6:00pm Music & Market Opelousas, LA
Friday, July 15 10:00pm Lamar-Dixon Expo Center Gonzales, LA