• Bryon Harris

Kay Martin Band - 'If These Walls Could Speak'

Kay Martin grew up playing guitar and singing folk, soul and pop music. She credits a wide range of artists who influenced and inspired her sound including Ella, Sarah, Louis Armstrong, the Duke, Frank, Dinah, Billie, Louis Jordan, Miles, Coltrane, Clifford,Daniela Mercury, Caetano, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Marisa Monte, Dianne Reeves, Elis, and many non-jazz artists as well like indie rockers like Gillian Welsh, Aimee Mann, and Liz Phair. Kay studied music with Ray Brown (Stan Getz' trumpeter) as well as many wonderful vocalists: Michele Rivard, Faith Winthrop, finally wonderful Trelawny Rose, who produced the vocals on her Four Sweets CD and is now head vocal coach on The Voice! Kay has performed and recorded with world-class artists. Currently, Kay is working with Fefe Lee of Los Pinguos, and recording a series of ballads with different artists with more jazz, soul, pop, and Afro-Brazilian rhythms to come.

Written by Jimmy Webb, "If These Walls Could Speak" is a timeless treasure. In the capable hands of the Kay Martin Band, the song gets a fresh new flavor while maintaining the composer's original emotion. The opening of Martin's version commences with a rich, blues melodic electric guitar. There's a slight country twang to the polished and tasteful guitar riff. The band joins in, and along with light percussion, a nice groove is created. The piano creates an improvisational vibe and the bass walks tightly.

Kay enters singing the first classic verse, "If these old walls, if these old walls could speak. What a tale they’d have to tell. Hard-headed people raisin’ hell. A couple in love, living week to week. Rooms full of laughter If these old walls could speak." Kay presents a pure and pristine tone with excellent articulation and phrasing. From beginning to end, Kay uses subtle nuance to express the song's story. She is never "over-the-top" and allows the lyrics to unfold with delicate expression.

As the song moves forward, strings weave through melody adding traditional color. To the listeners surprise, a seamless transition from the soft-blues introduction blooms into an amalgamation of genres with elements of folk, Brazilian, and jazz-rock. Popping, syncopated drumming adds to the rhythmic excitement, fantastic bass lines are developed, and jamming guitar solos dig into the melody with soul.

Kay Martin Band's version of "If These Walls Could Speak" is extremely engaging. While respecting the original emotion, Kay and the band borrow from multiple genres to create a captivating musical landscape. Your ears will be locked in from start to finish as the band delights with top-rate arranging, production, and stellar musicianship. Kay's vocals stay true to the original songwriter's intent with subtle nuance and a sweet and inviting tone. If these walls could speak, they would say, "Bravo."

For more information on Kay Martin Band, please visit Kay's website.


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