South Carolina-based singer/songwriter Marty Falle is another example of an artist who has made their way back to bluegrass after working several years in the country music world. After knocking around fronting cover bands for some time, Marty decided to give it a shot as himself, and released an album, Ohio, that did well on CMT in 2010, especially his video for Hoochie Coochie Gal from the Buckeye State, which received over three millions views online.
He says that he discovered the music fresh out of school when a new job took him to Kentucky’s coal region.
“Country and bluegrass music hit me like a lightning bolt shortly after I was transferred to Eastern Kentucky Coal Country after graduating from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. I was a traveling salesman and the locals took me in and turned me on to Makers Mark Bourbon, Bluegrass at Renfro Valley, and Dwight Yoakum. I wore out my CDs of Steve Earle, Keith Whitley, and Bill Monroe as I drove my pick-up to places like Harlan, Pikeville, and Pineville. It was strange and beautiful at the same time.”
Marty’s trip to Nashville to make his country record led to him meeting up with producer Jonathan Yudkin, who is also involved in Falle’s newly released album, Virgin on the Bluegrass. It’s a clever title, referencing his first foray into an all-bluegrass project, though songs on the Ohio album also showed grassy tinges. But with Yudkin’s guidance – he plays several bluegrass instruments – and a studio band consisting of Nashville super pickers, he figured ‘why the heck not?’
He says he took exactly that approach.
“So why make a pure bluegrass record? Simple… I LOVE bluegrass, and I had an opportunity to work with a dream team like Jonathan Yudkin (producer, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, orchestration) Rob Ikes (reso-guitar) David Grier (guitar), Corey Walker (banjo), and Mike Bub (bass) along with Marty Slayton and Kim Parent on background vocals. Marty has worked as a vocalist with George Strait and Kim with Brooks and Dunn.
Over the years, I have lived in Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and now South Carolina. ‘Real Appalachia’ influences my songwriting to this day.”
Virgin on the Bluegrass is available today, and Marty has offered our readers a chance to listen to the opening track, one called Bloody Coal that he wrote about the sacrifices made by coal miners in eastern Kentucky and elsewhere to bring it up to the ground.
Check it out…
Bloody Coal and the full Virgin on the Bluegrass album are available now from popular download and streaming sites. Radio programmers can contact Marty for the tracks.