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Carolyn Martin to perform in concert

Petrolia Topic Staff

Western swing singer Carolyn Martin, pictured, will perform at the Camlachie Community Centre on Aug. 25. Proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society's Lambton County Unit.

Western swing singer Carolyn Martin, pictured, will perform at the Camlachie Community Centre on Aug. 25. Proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society's Lambton County Unit.

Award-winning western swing singer Carolyn Martin and her Western Swing Band will play a benefit concert for the Canadian Cancer Society on Sunday, Aug. 25 at the Camlachie Community Centre.

All proceeds from the show, which starts at 6 p.m., will go to the Society's Lambton County Unit.

Martin is the 2010 and 2008 Academy of Western Artists' (AWA) Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year and had a 2008 Grammy nomination with the Time Jumpers.

Western swing has been called “Big Band Jazz” with fiddle and steel of trumpets and saxes.

Western swing is a style of music that was born in Texas, matured in Oklahoma during the 1930s and California during the war years and became popular in the U.S. in the 1950s.

It's an amalgamation of the music of the big band era, blues, country, dixieland and the popular songs of the '20s, '30s and '40s; combined with the ethnic styles of Mexican, Czech, German and Appalachian music.

Martin's music draws inspiration not only from the legendary western swing groups of the past but also from the Big Band era, Broadway musicals and from the best of today's composers.

Martin has never performed in Canada before but Don and Jan Aikin of Camlachie saw her perform in Nashville seven or eight years ago and were wowed. They remembered and booked Martin and her six-member band to play Camlachie.

Texas born but now based in Nashville, Martin is a 2011 inductee into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame.

She plays cover tunes and original material, which she is most inspired to write during long drives in the car.

“Western swing is meant to be fun music,” she said. “It was created as a distraction in the '30s; those were hard times, and it was created for people to go out on Saturday night and dance and forget about their troubles for a little while.”

Perhaps that is part of the reason for the current resurgence of interest in the genre. Western swing and related bands are appearing more often and their fans are the young crowd you would expect to see at a rock concert. Martin attributes part of this surge, as well as the music’s survival over time, to its pure joy and how it makes people want to tap their feet and move.

“It’s designed as dance music, and it naturally makes you feel better,” she said. “I couldn’t tell you exactly what swing means, but you can feel it. You know it when you hear it.”

Martin's CD, "Cookin' With Carolyn," was produced by Martin's husband, Dave Martin, and self-released in 2010. The CD was named the 2011 Best Western Swing Album by the Western Music Association while her prior project, "Swing," was named as one of the top swing CDs of the year in 2009.

Her latest CD, "Tennessee Local," continues to stretch the bounds of traditional western swing - in addition to her original songs, the album includes songs from composers like Irving Berlin and George Gershwin as well as western swing composers like Cindy Walker and Fred Rose.

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 her 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.

IF YOU GO:

Tickets for Carolyn Martin's Aug. 25 show at the Camlachie Community Centre are $25 and now available at Petrolia's Bits 'n Buckles, Wyoming Health & Fitness, Boyington's in Brigden, Camlachie Feed, Sim Propane and the Canadian Cancer Society office in Sarnia, Van Valkenburg's in Forest, Corunna Hardware and The Eagle radio station in Kettle Point. Tickets will also be available at the door.

 


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