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About john Arthur martinez

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AUSTIN, Texas — In 2004, on the heels of his second-place finish on the TV talent competition Nashville Star, singer-songwriter john Arthur martinez released an album titled Lone Starry Night, which climbed to No. 49 on Billboard magazine’s Top Country Albums chart. In 2015, he’s reaching for the stars again, so to speak, with the Feb. 15 release of If Stars Could Sing on his own JAM Records label.

Martinez has traveled the world, sharing stages with artists from Dwight Yoakam to Elton John. But his favorite place is his home in Marble Falls, outside of Austin, where he has established the annual FiestaJAM festival to raise funds for local music education programs. He received much of his music education at the famed Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, where he honed his songwriting chops alongside fellow alums Todd Snider, Terri Hendrix, James McMurtry, Bruce Robison and Hal Ketchum, among others, while attending college. Bruce’s brother, Charlie, later suggested martinez audition for TV’s Nashville Star; he wound up beating Miranda Lambert for second place.

By then, martinez had already established a reputation for drawing on his Texas roots and Mexican-American heritage to craft songs rich with Southwest imagery and influences. That’s hardly surprising, considering he started publishing his poetry at age 9. (His use of inverted letter cases is a nod to favorite poet e.e. cummings and to the middle name he’s used since attending kindergarten with too many kids named John.) Though martinez never got around to using his English/journalism degree to teach writing, as originally planned, it’s safe to say keeping his eye on the sky has proven to be a fine alternative.

 

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