Jeffrey Martin on a stool playing guitar
Music, poetry, and observations aimed directly at your soul
Melissa Clarke
Americana Highways


“ Songs that are stark in their simplicity, yet emotionally rich in a way that can catch your breath in your throat or leave your eyes suddenly damp. ”

“ Martin has delivered one of the finest albums of recent times, which if there is any justice should elevate him to the very forefront of the current crop of confessional singer-songwriters and sit high in all the end of year top ten lists. ”

“ ‘There Is A Treasure’ is a deeply human gift of a song and I hope it makes you feel have as blessed as it makes me feel. ”

“ Such honesty, depth, wisdom, and insight. ”

“ Martin’s most mesmerizing album — a masterpiece in any time zone. ”

“ Tales of hardship, heartbreak, and hard-won hope that should resonate with anyone living a life in this particular world at this particular time. ”

“ Martin has one of the best voices in folk music and should be a household name. ”

“ Martin is an ingenious lyricist and observer of life, and his evocatively-titled album speaks to a celebration of all of the rough edges that make us human. ”

Jeffrey Martin playing guitar on a couch

As a babe Jeffrey Martin sought out solitude as often as he could find it. He’s always been that way, and he has never understood the whole phenomenon of smiling in pictures, although he is a very happy guy. One night in middle school he stayed up under the covers with a flashlight and a DiscMan, listening to Reba McEntire’s 'That’s the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia' on repeat until the DiscMan ran out of batteries. That night he became a songwriter, although he didn’t actually write a song until years later. After high school he spent a few years distracting himself from having to gather up the courage to do what he knew he had to do.

Eventually he found his way to a writing degree, and then a teaching degree. He wrote most days like his life depended on it, all sorts of things, not just songs, but songs too. He fell in love with teaching high school English, which was fantastic because he never thought he’d actually come to truly love it. His students were fierce and unstoppable forces of noise and curiosity, and for all that they took from him in sleep and sense, they gave him a hundred times back in sparks and humility.  

All the while he was also playing truckloads of music. There was one weekend where he flew to LA while grading essays on the plane, played two shows, and then flew back home, still grading essays, and woke up to teach at 5 am on Monday morning. It was around this time he started wondering if such a life was sustainable.

Alas, music, the tour life, was a constant raccoon scratching at the back door. Jeffrey spent nights on end sitting up in bed, and then sitting on the front porch, staring off into the dark, wondering if he could bear to leave teaching to go on tour full time. Eventually his brain caught up with what his guts had known for months. With tears in his eyes he announced to his students that he wouldn’t be back the following year, and that he didn’t feel right hollering at them to chase their dreams at all cost if he wasn’t going to do the same.

Jeffrey Martin tours full time now. He is always making music, and he is always coming through your town. He misses teaching like you might miss a good old friend who you know you’ll meet again.

Jeffrey Martin playing music with Anna Tivel
I can’t think of anything that has an ounce of meaning or dimension that doesn’t come from failure
Jeffrey Martin Signature
Jeffrey Martin picture