photo © Erin Russell 2005 | used with permission | click on image to visit artist's website
Charlotte Martin Spring Tour 2006
concert reviews - Madison, WI | Vienna, VA | Cazenovia, NY - March 2006
Interview (On Your Shore) (Dec 2004) | Interview (Darkest Hour) (July 2005)
Interview (Buffalo, NY and Hartford, CT) (Nov 2005) | Interview (Something Like A DVD) (March 2006)
Test-Drive Songs (2002) | In Parentheses (2003) | On Your Shore (2004) | Veins (2005)
all reviews and slide show © Musical Discoveries 2006 | last update: 15 May 2006
Charlotte Martin's coast-to-coast headline tour in the spring of 2006 was an all out effort to reach a significant cross section of her fanbase in the run up to the commercial release of Something Like a DVD on her own Dinosaur Records later this year. In addition to previous tours' favorite venues, Charlotte added university and other stops to her schedule. Regular and new contributors to Musical Discoveries review her shows in Madison, Vienna and Cazeniovia below. Click on the link above for a slide show from Vienna, VA.
Madison, Wisconsin (March 11, 2006)
I am really not a concert/live show person. I would much rather listen to most music by myself than with dozens, or hundreds of other people. I should also qualify this even more by saying I am a major pain about being open to new musicians. I listen to the music I listen to, and have a hard time opening my mind to new music.
I was all ready to sit through what I figured was going to be a boring show with music that was sure to be too pop-y for my taste. I was very wrong. Very, very wrong. I was so stunned and blown away by Charlotte Martin from the moment she began that I think my mouth might have hung open for her first two songs. During the show I kept frantically trying to place her music- to figure out where it fit. At times she was wonderfully like Bjork (her dance beats, and full, honest, raw vocals) and at times I thought she was very much like Tori Amos Boys in her "Boys for Pele" period (my favorite Tori). At other times she had the rawness of PJ Harvey. A pretty thrilling combination, but still mostly she was like nothing else. I left with more than a few of her songs stuck in my head. Charlotte is very refreshingly unique, very real and simply mesmermizing on stage. Charlotte Martin was one of the best live performances I've ever seen.--Wendy Christensen in Madison, Wisconsin
Charlotte's recent show here in Madison, made me realize that while her sound recordings are brilliant and emotionally evocative, they do not even scrape the surface of what it's like to actually be in the presence of her live performance.
In my opinion,there is nothing and no one to compare her to. I would imagine that she might be growing weary of the Tori Amos comparisons. I feel guilty even evoking her name in this review, so i will be Charlotte's advocate and say that she is an extraordinarily unique singer/songwriter, who is completely her own artist in need of no references to bolster any description of her musical abilities. Her songs, her incredible vocal range, her piano performance and as well as her persona are beyond inimitable and powerful as hell.
As far as I am concerned she is a phenom, a siren, a sonic goddess. During her live show there is a compelling energy that she conjures, the audience seemed to just fall at her feet. She's alluring, funny and quite engaging. And upon meeting her i had the refreshing experience of getting to see how gentle and gracious she is in person. She's charming and kind and unbelievably beautiful.
One of the things that struck both Wendy and I about her vocal range was the naked abandon she has when her voice just takes her emotionally outward, upward and inward. And the awesome mastery of her piano, it's like being in the presence of greatness. Like a contemporary Beethovin mixed with the dramatics of a Sarah Bernhardt.--Jo Gabriel in Madison, Wisconsin
Vienna, Virginia (March 22, 2006)
Jammin Java in Vienna, VA is not only a coffee house, but also an art and music venue, and a common gathering place that promotes artistic and musical talent. Entering the darkly lit room just set the mood for the incredible performance that was about to happen. Tables in the front row held candles that flickered back and forth where adoring fans would sit and mouth the words to all of Charlotte’s songs.
After a warm welcome from the crowd, Charlotte walked out on stage looking exquisite, with her long blonde locks flowing down her back. She gracefully sat down at her piano and keyboards and began her set.
Charlotte had such an intensity to her performance, putting her heart and soul into every song she sang making it rather an explosive performance. She consistently used, what seemed to be, an electronic almost techno sounding backing from her keyboards throughout the show. You couldn’t help but move to the mesmerizing beat. Her true musical talent was reflected through her voice though. When she finished a song, she would give a little shriek that her fans matched with applause.
Charlotte held the microphone close to her lips as she sang and constantly moved her entire body as she struck the keys. Using every inch of her body, you could tell just how much she was getting into her performance and truly expressing her love for music. It was truly magical sight watching Charlotte as she closed her eyes and fell into her own musical trance. Her eloquence and beautiful vocals were both extremely impressive. When she hit some of the high notes, she would almost grimace. This raw emotion was and is a unique aspect of her live performances.
After the concert, Charlotte signed CDs and communed with her fans. Charlotte is a genuine, personable and straightforward individual. She took the time to speak to everyone on a personal level demonstrating her love of people. She always takes a genuine interest in everyone and has an incredible ease of dealing with the public.
There are such unique qualities in her music and in her performance that she executes so well. Charlotte Martin puts on an exceptional and fabulous show every time, with no two shows ever the same, and seeing her play live certainly makes her recorded music become more alive.--Deborah J Elliot in Centreville, Virginia
Cazeniovia, New York (March 29, 2006)
Charlotte Martin performed at Cazenovia College in upstate New York. The venue was a sleek coffeehouse type setting with comfy couches as well as tablecloth covered tables and chairs. The tables had tea lights glowing for a lovely, classy ambience. There were approximately 100 people at this show, mainly comprised of college students. There was no formal stage, and Charlotte was in arm's length of the first row of seating. The audience settled back with their coffees and teas awaiting Charlotte's entrance.
After a brief introduction, Charlotte walked in to a very warm audience reception. She began her set with the unplugged version of "Four Walls" from her Veins EP. This version still contained the electronica sound but sounded a bit more raw. Charlotte was quite chatty and did relate numerous stories to the crowd throughout the evening. She explained that she was nearing the end of a nasty cold and the consensus from her crew was that her voice was at its peak for the raspy, husky and sultry sound. She sang a second song, "Bones," also from the EP. Charlotte never fails to please with this rich ballad with her wonderful keyboard accompaniment to this tender melody.
"In Parentheses" was dynamic and Charlotte's beautiful well-trained voice was the highlight in this tune. The next song was written as a collaboration with The Crystal Method called "Glassbreaker." She explained that this song was for the movie London that was recently released. Her rendition was stunning. In between each song, Charlotte chatted and reeled in the audience with her terrific sense of humor and charming personality. She has the uncanny ability to continually engage the audience with her magnificent voice, expert keyboarding and wonderful storytelling.
The Depeche Mode cover, "Judas," was well received by the appreciative crowd. While introducing her next song, "Days of the Week," Charlotte explained that many listeners find this song funny, but she was actually depressed when she wrote it. She went on to say that she had just moved out to California and it was the first time she actually lived on her own. This song reflected her feelings and moods as she was trying to make it in a brand new place. There is a delicate vulnerability that appears in her music that lures the listener. "I'm Normal, Please Date Me" was a wonderful, playful tune where her mischievous humor came through. Charlotte did say that she dated all sorts of guys when she first went out to California, but then found this man (her husband Ken) that she wanted to date and get to know better, and this song arose out of that moment. You couldn't help but smile throughout her performance of this tune with its simple piano lighthearted melody and witty lyrics.
"Every Time It Rains" is a beautiful song and Charlotte's lush and sultry tones were exceptional. She has tremendous passion in her music and vocals that exudes a gentle force and energy. She continued with "Chocolate," a cover from Snow Patrol. The crowd certainly recognized this cover and showed their appreciation. Charlotte played a new song, "Hopeless Attempt," from her forthcoming album Stromata. She said this song was only played live once before this rendition. There was a brilliant piano solo in this piece that was breathtaking.
Charlotte played a beautiful version of "Pretty Thing" that continues to build throughout. This song was followed by the flowing "Melissa" from Mystery, Magic & Seeds. Charlotte's exquisite piano and magnificent, soaring vocals enraptured the audience. Her tenderness and delicate approach in this song was simply outstanding. She then played "Step Back" from the On Your Shore sessions, which appears on her new DVD, Something Like A DVD. Her confident and refreshing approach made this song a standout. The last song was the exceptional "Wild Horses," a cover from The Rolling Stones, that Charlotte has taken and made her own. Her extraordinary talent shines through on this song with her poignancy and emotive interpretation of this classic.
No Charlotte Martin show is the same, and each time we see Charlotte perform, she never ceases to amaze us with her outstanding talent and showmanship. She has a riveting hold on her audience through her virtuoso piano and keyboarding, and of course, her magnificent voice. Charlotte has the ability to make each member of the crowd feel like a pal sitting in her living room, listening to her beautiful music. She is thoroughly captivating and certainly mesmerizes her audience with her incredible music and vivacious personality. Charlotte Martin's shows are always a treat!--Audrey Elliot in New York
Return to website contents