Jeffrey Scott Martin (born October 2, 1969 in Windsor, Ontario) is a Canadian guitarist and singer-songwriter best known for fronting the rock band The Tea Party. Martin began his career as a solo artist in October 2005, when The Tea Party disbanded.
Martin began playing guitar as a child and in his adolescence played in bands The Shadows, Modern Movement and The Stickmen. In 1988, Jeff graduated from Sandwich Secondary School along with future Tea Party bandmates Jeff Burrows and Stuart Chatwood. He went on to study music at the University of Windsor before leaving his studies prematurely due to philosophical differences with his music professor. Martin has perfect pitch, as highlighted on "The Science of Rock 'n' Roll", an episode of Daily Planet on Discovery Channel Canada.
The Tea Party (1990–2005)
Forming The Tea Party in 1990 after a marathon jam session at the Cherry Beach Rehearsal Studios in Toronto, Martin (a self-confessed "control freak" ) produced all of The Tea Party's albums, including their eponymous debut album in 1991, distributing it through the band's own label, Eternal Discs. In 1993 The Tea Party signed to EMI Music Canada and released their first major label recording entitled Splendor Solis. Martin employed open tunings to imitate Indian instruments such as the sitar, something he has continued to employ throughout his career. Further developing The Tea Party's sound in 1995, The Edges of Twilight was recorded with an array of Indian and Middle-eastern instrumentation while Martin drew lyrical inspiration from occult themes and pagan influenced literature. Upon returning from successful tours in Canada, Europe and Australia in 1996, The Tea Party went onto record Alhambra, an Enhanced CD which features acoustic re-recordings of songs from The Edges of Twilight, followed by a brief tour around Canada known as "Alhambra acoustic and eclectic". Transmission, released in 1997, saw Martin's first foray into electronica, with Martin conceding that Transmission was "an honest attempt at going somewhere poetically where most people would be unnerved to go. It was very dark, extremely angry and you could only listen to it in a certain mindset. I mean for me, going to where I went with Transmission, almost destroyed me." Triptych followed in 1999; the first single "Heaven Coming Down" rose to #1 on Canadian radio. Lyrically, Martin was less enigmatic than he was on previous albums: on Triptych he wrote about the experiences of his years in the band. After releasing Tangents, a singles compilation, in 2000 and Illuminations, a DVD compilation of music videos which Martin remixed in Surround sound, The Tea Party released The Interzone Mantras in 2001 and Seven Circles in 2004. In October 2005, The Tea Party disbanded due to creative differences. The band members regrouped in 2011 for a series of shows in their native Canada.
Solo career (2005–2008)
Jeff Martin and the Armada Prince of Wales Bandroom November 2008
Martin's debut solo album titled Exile and the Kingdom was released in Canada and Australia in 2006. Among those who worked with Martin were Michael Lee and Ritesh Das (Toronto Tabla Ensemble). The first single, titled "The World is Calling", is an open letter to the Bush administration. During this time Martin was supposed to collaborate with Scott Stapp but it did not ensue. In November 2006, Martin released a live album recorded that September, titled Live in Brisbane 2006. The two-disc album features Ritesh Das and the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, and consists of both solo and Tea Party songs. The album is a complete recording of a live performance full of Jeff's banter with bandmates and the audience, including his thoughts on the disbanding of The Tea Party and where he sees himself in life.
In May 2007, Martin released his second live album Live in Dublin recorded with drummer Wayne P. Sheehy, while Martin's first solo music DVD Live at the Enmore Theatre was released through Shock DVD in July 2007. The Armada (2008 - 2010). In early 2008 Martin (lead vocals, guitars) and Sheehy (drums) formed The Armada. The band's debut album, which features a similar sound to the Tea Party, was released on 4 November 2008.
Jeff Martin 777 (2010-present)
In 2010, Martin began work on new music with Jay Cortez and Malcolm Clark (formerly of The Sleepy Jackson) for a new album to be entitled "The Ground Cries Out" under the new bandname of Jeff Martin 777. On January 10, 2011, the title track from the album was released on Martin's myspace page. The Ground Cries Out was released in Canada on March 1, 2011 and has subsequently been released in Australia. Following a Jeff Martin 777 Canadian tour, the new band will tour Australia from May 2011. Martin has also announced a reunion of The Tea Party for some Canadian shows in July and August.
Jeff Martin videos...
- Tommy Emmanuel
- Keith Urban
- Josh Homme
- John Butler
- Paul Kelly
- Colin Hay
- Neil Finn
- Michael Franti
- Andrea Valeri