All Milton Brown did was invent a unique and popular style of music, then die before anybody congratulated him on his accomplishment. Carolyn Martin, recently decided to shine a light on Milton Brown. Martin, who was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2011, released a new album called “A Platter of Brownies: The Music of Milton Brown.” Tennessean
Singer Carolyn Martin has been described as “… a winning throwback to the days where emotion was measured and artful rather than loud and histrionic.” From European concert halls to intimate venues at home in Nashville, fans have come to know Carolyn as a vocalist with a unique sense of musical style, a charismatic stage presence and a voice that exudes passion and experience – the soulful elegance that is the very essence of music.
Carolyn is a Texas born, Nashville based swing singer and member of the Texas Western Swing Hall Of Fame. She was the recipient of the Academy of Western Artists’ Will Rogers award as the Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year in 2008, 2010, and 2014. The Western Music Association named Carolyn’s “Cookin’ With Carolyn” CD the Western Swing Album of the Year . Carolyn’s “Tennessee Local” CD topped the Western Swing charts for 6 months and was in the Top 10 Western Swing Albums for more than a year after its release. Carolyn’s composition “Swing On” (from “Tennessee Local””, was named by the Swingin’ West radio show as 2013’s Western Swing Song of the Year. In addition to these awards, the Cowtown Society of Western Swing has named Carolyn a “Hero of Western Swing” and she is a 2014 inductee into the Northwest Western Swing Music Society Hall Of Fame.
Carolyn’s latest CD, “A Platter Of Brownies: The Music of Milton Brown” pays homage to the Father of Western Swing, Milton Brown. Brown, along with his band the Musical Brownies, was a seminal figure in the development of what we now know as western swing.
Carolyn grew up with music in the air. “The stable where I kept my horse had a radio tuned to the local country music station, and in addition to what we now call traditional country, they played a lot of western swing – not just Bob Wills songs, but other artists who played western swing or swing influenced music. At home, my parents listened to big band swing and to pop singers like Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney.”
Carolyn began playing guitar and singing in her teens, and before too long, started playing in public. “My very first job was when my friend Laurie and I started working at a place called “Old Abilene Town”, a tourist attraction out by the interstate. They showed silent movies in the restaurant, and Laurie and I would play in the intermission between the movies.”
Carolyn soon began working with area bands, and a few years later took her own band on the road, playing in nightclubs, dance halls and hotel lounges. “It seemed like every hotel in the country had a band in their lounge; we would play each place for two or three weeks, getting to know the town and the people, then move on to the next town for a two or three weeks. It was a nice way to live for a few years, sightseeing during day and playing every night”.
After relocating to Nashville, Carolyn worked as a freelance singer and guitarist, gradually transitioning from playing in bars to performing at private parties and corporate events – a move that had both advantages and a few downsides. The move allowed Carolyn to sing regularly – and sing a wide variety of music, from traditional country to R&B, but it also meant that there was a certain loss of visibility; ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is certainly true in the music business.
Then, one Monday night in 1999, Carolyn went to hear some friends who were playing with a group called the Time Jumpers. They asked Carolyn to sit in with the band and sing a couple of songs. Within a couple of months, she was invited to become a member of the group. 11 years later, after having been a part of three CD’s, a DVD that has aired on hundreds of Public Television Stations and sharing two Grammy nominations with the other members of the band, Carolyn left the Time Jumpers to perform full time with her own group, Carolyn Martin’s Swing Band.
Carolyn’s performances are not limited to western swing; for the last few years, she’s been singing in a show called “Country Royalty”, a tribute to the music of Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. She also has gained a reputation as an interpreter of pop/jazz standards of the 1930s and 40s, singing with her jazz quartet.
At Java Jive, we believe that great music comes not from recording studios or audio equipment, but from great musicians, singers and songwriters. But we’ve also found that if you expect to make a great recording, it’s much easier for all concerned if you start by providing those talented musicians and singers with a comfortable place to work – it also helps to have a variety of great sounding acoustic spaces, an expansive collection of classic audio gear and up-to-the-minute technology, plus knowledgeable people who understand both the equipment and the creative process,.
Java Jive provides all that – not only do we make an excellent cup of coffee, but we can provide the vibe, the room, the equipment and the know-how to take your project to the next level.
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