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Barrett Martin (born April 14, 1967) is an American composer, percussionist, writer, and Latin Grammy award-winning producer. He is best known for his work with the Seattle rock bands Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara, and Walking Papers. Martin has also played on albums by R.E.M., Stone Temple Pilots, Luna, and Queens Of The Stone Age.
|Also known as||"The Bear"|
|Born||April 14, 1967|
Olympia, Washington, U.S.
|Genres||Alternative rock, modern jazz, jazz fusion, Delta blues|
|Occupation(s)||Writer, Composer, Producer, Artist|
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, upright bass, piano, vibraphone, marimba|
|Labels||Columbia, Cruz, Epic, Sunyata Records & Books|
|Associated acts||Barrett Martin Group, Levee Walkers, Mad Season, Queens of the Stone Age, R.E.M., Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, Tuatara, The Desert Sessions, Walking Papers|
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) bestowed Martin the 2014 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for his liner notes in Above by Mad Season (Deluxe Edition). In 2017, Martin won a Latin Grammy for his production and percussion work on the album Jardim-Pomar by Nando Reis.
Martin was born and raised in Olympia, Washington. He studied jazz and classical music at Western Washington University before dropping out to play music professionally. He later completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in anthropology, linguistics, and ethnomusicology at the University of New Mexico.
Martin joined Skin Yard as a drummer in 1990 and made two albums with the band, 1000 Smiling Knuckles (1991) and Inside the Eye (1993). When Skin Yard broke up, Martin was asked to fill the vacant drum seat in another Seattle band, Screaming Trees. The Screaming Trees made three studio albums with Martin, Sweet Oblivion (1992), Dust (1996), and Last Words: The Final Recordings (2011) before calling it quits in June, 2000. Last Words: The Final Recordings was produced by Martin and mixed by Jack Endino.
In 1994, Martin formed the supergroup Mad Season with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, and Chicago blues bassist Baker Saunders. The band released its debut album Above in 1995 and played only a handful of local shows before disbanding. Martin and Peter Buck of R.E.M. then founded the revolving-door music project Tuatara in 1996. Tuatara released nine albums until disbanding in 2014.
In March 2000, Martin was ordained as a Zen monk in the Soto tradition through the Detroit Street Zen Center in Los Angeles. Martin then started Sunyata Records & Books, an imprint label and book publishing company distributed by Sony Music, in 2001.
Martin released his first solo album, The Painted Desert in 2004, as the Barrett Martin Group. He followed up with a second album, Earthspeaker in 2006. A third solo album, Zenga, was released in 2009, followed by the albums Atlas (2011), Artifact (2012), Transcendence (2018), and Songs Of The Firebird (2019).
In 2011, he was appointed as an adjunct professor of music in the liberal arts department at Antioch University in Seattle.
Barrett formed a new group named Walking Papers in 2012. The band included Seattle musician Jeff Angell, bassist Duff McKagan, and keyboardist Benjamin Anderson. The band released its self-titled debut album on Martin's Sunyata Records in 2012. In 2013, Martin started writing a music and culture blog for The Huffington Post. He currently writes essays for the politically progressive web magazine, Riot Material.
In April 2016, Martin announced the formation of a new group, Levee Walkers, with band members Duff McKagan and Mike McCready. Martin has produced albums for the Welsh band Buffalo Summer, delta blues legend CeDell Davis, and Seattle singer-guitarist Ayron Jones.
In 2017, Martin married Lisette Garcia, a psychologist and Latino Studies expert who also plays percussion in the Barrett Martin Group.
In 2017, Martin published his first book, The Singing Earth. The book contains a collection of musical adventure stories taken from Martin's work over the course of 30 years on 6 continents and 14 different musical regions. In 2019, he published his second book, "The Way Of The Zen Cowboy", which contains 35 short, non-fiction stories from his childhood up to the present.
Barrett Martin GroupEdit
- The Painted Desert – 2004
- Earthspeaker – 2006
- Zenga – 2009
- Atlas – 2011
- Artifact – 2012
- Transcendence - 2018
- Songs of the Firebird - 2019
- Indwell - 2019
- Above – 1995
- Woven Songs Of The Amazon - 2006
- Woven Songs Of The Amazon II - 2019
- Breaking the Ethers – 1997
- Trading with the Enemy – 1998
- Cinematheque – 2002
- The Loading Program – 2003
- East of the Sun – 2007
- West of the Moon – 2007
- The Here and the Gone – 2009
- Underworld – 2014
- Shamanic Nights: Live in the City – 2016
- Walking Papers – 2012
- WP2 – 2018
- Thin Men – A Round Hear – 1989
- Mike Johnson – Where Am I – 1994
- Various Artists – Working Class Hero – 1995
- Seaweed – Spanaway – 1995
- Mike Johnson – Year of Mondays – 1996
- Luna – Pup Tent – 1997
- Mark Eitzel – West – 1997
- Protein – Ever Since I was a Kid – 1997
- Various Artists – Flying Traps – 1997
- R.E.M. – Up – 1998
- Mark Lanegan – I'll Take Care of You – 1999
- Stone Temple Pilots – No. 4 – 1999
- Various Artists – More Oar – 1999
- Victoria Williams – Water to Drink – 2000
- Mark Olson – My Own Jo Ellen – 2000
- The Twilight Singers – Twilight as Played by The Twilight Singers – 2000
- Nando Reis – Para Quando o Arco-Íris Encontrar o Pote de Ouro – 2000
- Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R – 2000
- Therapy? – Shameless – 2001
- Nando Reis – Infernal – 2001
- CeDell Davis – When Lightning Struck the Pine – 2002
- Alex Veley – Maconha Baiana – 2003
- Nando Reis – A Letra A – 2003
- Nero – Confession No. 1 – 2003
- Roger Greenway – Wayt – 2004
- Jack Endino – Permanent Fatal Error – 2005
- Shipibo Shamans – Woven Songs of the Amazon – 2006
- Bola Abimbola – Ara Kenge – 2006
- Dave Carter – Commitment and Change – 2008
- Under The Rose – Under The Rose – 2009
- Rusty Willoughby – CoBirds Unite – 2010
- Nando Reis e Os Infernais – Sei – 2012
- Mark Lanegan – Imitations – 2013
- Vaudeville Etiquette – Debutantes & Dealers – 2014
- CeDell Davis – Last Man Standing – 2015
- CeDell Davis – Even The Devil Gets The Blues – 2016
- "Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin, GNR's Duff McKagan share new song as Levee Walkers: Stream". Consequence of Sound. November 2, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- "Barrett Martin - Sunyata Records". Sunyata Records. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Latin Grammy win by Seattle musicians Jack Endino and Barrett Martin highlights Seattle-Brazil connectionSeattle Times Retrieved 21 November 2017
- Music and the Politics of Resistance Huffington Post Retrieved 23 January 2013