As a babe Jeffrey Martin sought out solitude as often as he could find it. He's always been that way, and he has never understood the whole phenomenon of smiling in pictures, although he is a very happy guy. One night in middle school he stayed up under the covers with a flashlight and a DiscMan, listening to Reba McEntire's 'That's the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia' on repeat until the DiscMan ran out of batteries. That night he became a songwriter, although he didn't actually write a song until years later. After high school he spent a few years distracting himself from having to gather up the courage to do what he knew he had to do.
Eventually he found his way to a writing degree, and then a teaching degree. He wrote most days like his life depended on it, all sorts of things, not just songs, but songs too. He fell in love with teaching high school English, which was fantastic because he never thought he'd actually come to truly love it. His students were fierce and unstoppable forces of noise and curiosity, and for all that they took from him in sleep and sense, they gave him a hundred times back in sparks and humility.
All the while he was also playing truckloads of music. There was one weekend where he flew to LA while grading essays on the plane, played two shows, and then flew back home, still grading essays, and woke up to teach at 5 am on Monday morning. It was around this time he started wondering if such a life was sustainable.
Alas, music, the tour life, was a constant raccoon scratching at the back door. Jeffrey spent nights on end sitting up in bed, and then sitting on the front porch, staring off into the dark, wondering if he could bear to leave teaching to go on tour full time. Eventually his brain caught up with what his guts had known for months. With tears in his eyes he announced to his students that he wouldn't be back the following year, and that he didn't feel right hollering at them to chase their dreams at all cost if he wasn't going to do the same.
Jeffrey Martin tours full time now. He is always making music, and he is always coming through your town. He misses teaching like you might miss a good old friend who you know you'll meet again.
Jeffrey has put out bunches of music since 2009, but he's most proud of the more recent stuff. He's fortunate to be a part of the great and loving family that is Fluff and Gravy Records in Portland, OR. "One Go Around," due out in October 2017, will be his 3rd full length album. At his luckiest, he's shared shows with the likes of Sean Hayes, Gregory Alan Isakov, Jeffrey Foucault, Joe Pug, Peter Mulvey, Amanda Shires, Tracy Grammer, David Wilcox, and others.
He currently lives in Portland, OR but feels lately that it has become a secret that someone figured out how to monetize. And since he has no money of any kind, everything beautiful about the city is marred by the quiet ticking of a countdown toward the day that he'll have to find somewhere to live that doesn't require a steady bleeding fortune.
Anna Tivel has spent some quality hours in a dodge caravan repeating lyrical lines over and over until the words fall in time with the windshield wipers, or until the gas light comes on.
An internationally touring artist with a deep love of quiet stories, Anna is beginning to carve a place for herself in the songwriting world. She was chosen a winner of both the Telluride Troubadour Contest and the Kerrville New Folk Contest and has shared the stage with heroes and friends like Gregory Alan Isakov, Blind Pilot, Anais Mitchell, Mason Jennings, Mandolin Orange, Sean Rowe, Darlingside, Peter Mulvey, John Doe, Jeffrey Martin, and lots more.
Anna was raised in the forest and farmland of rural northern Washington and currently calls Portland, OR home. Her songs reflect both the stark colors of small town life, and the hard, sharp lines of the city. Her newest album, Small Believer, came out in September on Portlands well-loved Fluff & Gravy Records. Produced by guitar mastermind Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter, Anais Mitchell). NPR praised the album, saying it repeatedly achieves this exquisite balance of the quotidian and the sublime with imagery that's deeply poetic. Her previous album, Heroes Waking Up was hailed by Folk Radio UK as "a superb and sublime album from a voice that deserves to be shouted from the highest rooftops.
Singer-songwriters are often called poets. In truth, only a few deliver the deep insight and sense of the new that breaking through the predictable achieves. Anna Tivel is one. NPR, Ann Powers
"Everything here is testament to her storytelling gifts (shes been likened to Steinbeck and I suspect she may have a novel or short stories collection in her) with her finely drawn characters and observations of an emotional life that ranges from defiance to regret, joy to sadness." -- Folk Radio UK
NPR top 10 unheard albums of 2017: https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/12/14/570576493/ann-powers-top-10-underheard-albums-of-2017\
NPR 100 best songs of 2017: https://www.npr.org/2017/12/13/568725203/the-100-best-songs-of-2017-page 2