Martin Stephenson is one of the many artists who broke
through in the early eighties and who has managed to retain
not only his fan base but also his credibility despite the fact
that his career has taken a number of twists and turns and
seen him move with ease from eighties pop through to roots
music and a few other stops in between. Born in County
Durham on the 27th July 1961, Martin first became aware of
music as a teenager. In fact it was down to an older friend
at a youth club that the young Martin first heard the music
of Frank Zappa. Other influences however were about to be
brought to bear as Punk exploded across the nation and
Martin was fired up enough over the 'anyone can do it' ethic
to take up the guitar himself.
Whilst working as a carpet fitter by day Martin was during
the evening playing guitar in his first band the Strange
Relations. By the age of nineteen and yet another dead end
day job, Martin heard Runaway Boys by the Stray Cats on
the radio and was inspired enough to give up his day job
and fully immerse himself in music by at first busking on
the streets. Shortly after however Martin formed the
Daintees and things began to move quickly. By 1982 the
band were recording and were one of the first bands to sign
to the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne label Kitchenware who released
the band's debut single Roll On Summertime. Shortly after
Martin and the band signed to the major London Records Label.
Following the break up of the Daintees, Martin headed out on
a tour of Highland café's and folk clubs, which was probably
a kick against the commercial direction the record label, had
wanted Martin to move in. By the time of his album Yogi In
My House Martin had signed with the independent Demon
records label. The album was again an eclectic affair although
considered by many to be one of his best albums. The albums
featured tracks such as Dance The Last Goodbye and Gone
The Gypsy Davey, which reflected Martin's roots influences.
The album also contained performances from friends like
Jools Holland and more importantly Pauline Murray who
herself was another native of the North East and had fronted
the punk band Penetration. The album was one of two
released in 1995 the other album being Sweet Misdemeanour.
The rootsier side of Martin's influences however have never
been far from the surface and indeed as far back as the
debut with the Daintees on Boat To Bolivia there had been
a track dedicated to The Reverend Gary Davis (Tribute To
The Late Gary Davis).
The Disciples of Merle and Doc was another of Martin's more
roosty and acoustic albums from 2000 and was originally
available from Martin's website.
The album is a tribute to the music of Merle Travis and Doc
Watson and has proved to be one of Martin Stephenson's
more popular albums. This recording also features
performances by The Moonshiners and Tommy Beavitt on
fiddle and guitar and has been re mastered for release.