Band of the Week: Cody J. Martin

MEET THE BAND: Cody J. Martin (vocals, guitar)

HE'S A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY: Martin writes songs that, as he puts it, rest "where folk, blues and country music intersect." He originally played guitar in numerous bands throughout high school but started his solo career about 10 years ago after gravitating to the music of Elliott Smith, Tom Waits, Townes van Zandt and Bob Dylan. "I just really like the lyrical content of Dylan," he says. "And I don't know how I got turned onto Elliott Smith, but I've dug deep into his stuff. His music is Beatles-esque at times and is arranged really well and adds an instrumental element that I've tried to emulate a little bit."

A LO-FI DEBUT: Martin released his debut album, Somewhere You'd Rather Be, in 2014. "I recorded it at a couple of different houses and was really into the lo-fi element," he says. "I was into live performance takes, and that first record was really raw. As long as I was happy with the songs, that was fine with me."

THE FOLLOWUP ALBUM: He started writing the songs for his new album, From Here to All of Time's Entire, when he was on a self-booked tour. "When I got back from that tour, I threw the songs together until I had a bunch to go into the studio with," he says. He went to a Hocking Hills cabin to record some of the tunes. Locally based producer John Finley, who also worked on Martin's first album, helped him fine-tune the songs. "He did the engineering and mixing, and we shared production duties," says Martin. "He helped me move the songs in different directions and we had a really collaborative working relationship."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: The gentle folk ballad "Born in a Grave," the first single from From Here to All of Time's Entire, finds Martin practically whispering his way through an acoustic song that features a bit of light piano and harmonica. "It's influenced by really old folk songs," he says. "I like how the verses don't fit the narrative but give you an overall picture. You can hear that in a lot of Dylan, especially on his recent stuff, from Time Out of Mind through Tempest. He has employed that same lyrical style. One line doesn't follow another, but you get this overall vibe. I wrote it right after the first record came out. It came out all at once. As somber as it is, I intend it to be a more hopeful thing. It's about keeping going because life can be shitty sometimes."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM:Cody J. Martin performs with Ray Flanagan & the Authorities and the Ohio Weather Band at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Auricle in Canton.