15th State - South Dakota - 15th Interview Rascal Martinez
Next stop, home of Mt. Rushmore, the 15th state on this project, South Dakota. While struggling to find an artist with the limited time in SD, I figured I reverse my search tactics. Instead of looking up hashtagged posts on Social Media, or going through SoundCloud or Bandcamp, I looked up bars/restaurants online that had live music. As I sat in a Starbucks, (my usual go-to spot on this trip), I cracked my knuckles and got to searchin’.
It was refreshing to see a good amount of places offering live music, opportunities for local talent in South Dakota, so it took some time to go through event posts past and upcoming, looking up the sites of the featured artist and listening to their music. I found an event that was happening my last night there at a bar called Fernsons. The artist featured was good, quality voice, had a professional sound to him, and from a genre standpoint, was different from the artists I met up with so far. His name is Rascal Martinez. There was a phone number on his site, he picked up right away and was on board for the interview.
When I arrived to Fernsons, I knew I was at the right location—there was a trailer hitch in the parking lot that had Rascal Martinez written on it in big letters.
Adjusting his microphone on his shirt, he talked about how he was also on tour in the midwest and had just did a radio interview with South Dakota Public Broadcasting a day prior. As busy as he sounded with performing shows, doing interviews, working on new music, he was super chill, calm and collecting. Stylish, happy and super laid back, is how I can describe Rascal Martinez. He was all smiles and welcoming, and had this Modern James Dean look about him. As soon as we wrapped up the interview, he hit the stage with his drummer and bass guitarist and immedialty got into character.
Not only was the locally brewed Fernson beer great, Rascal Martinez and his band killed it. Putting his own Americana spin on covers and originals, he had everyone in the bar on a vibe, and drew more people in. He did everything from Originals, to Folk, Classic Rock, Motown, and current hits. Check out some intagram posts from his gig below - the first clip he remixes Jay-Z's 99 problems, putting his own spin to it, and the second, his rendition of Pina Colada.
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This electrifying NYC street performing duo, sax player and drummer, can often be heard under the streets of NYC freestyling funky jazz sets that instantly get you movin’ to the beat, remniscent of that classic 90's hip hop feel, mixed in with a little bit of that contagious James Brown sound.
After the we recorded a set, which you can watch below, we asked for their name and the drummer replied Blue Funk Orchestra.
Someone please sign these guys.
“The neo-soul is STRONG with this quintet — watching them onstage (and they're definitely a live band) is an education in peristalsis as each of them extracts nutrients from the sound. Their fundamental affection for Elliott Smith and Wilco shines through in both the steady-eyed, phrase-conscious songcraft and the lid-bursting turns of filigree. More often than not, however, the ensemble kinks into hyperspatial, cardinal modes: D'Angelo (harmony like roux; telepathic rhythm), St. Vincent (secret, sur-pop dance; pedaled leads that nonetheless feel absolutely naked), and many more. Together they declare a project in psychedelic soul, a chamber concern with no small share in the sincere. Hear their debut album “Loves You” at Madam West.” - Pete Longofono, BIG FIGMENT (Source: Madamwest.com)
Madam West writes driving, tightly-arranged songs from the intersection of mind and gut. Here are grooves to match your exquisite hips to, and characters to love or hate with equal parts gusto. If you listen closely, you'll detect odd chords to nod in or out of accord with, shiny synths and loops to wrap your brain around, and a few vocal leaps of faith.
The debut LP "Loves You", the EP (not pictured), and a compilation of singles are available for purchase and download at Madam West's Bandcamp. (Source: Bandcamp)