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Artist Spotlight – July 2023

Marty Falle – July Artist Spotlight

My July Artist Spotlight is one that is from my home state, Ohio. Marty Falle is from Parma, Ohio. Parma is a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The first settlers in the area were Benaiah Fay and his family. The family had moved there from New York and named the city in tribute to Parma, New York which was actually named after Parma, Italy. Over the years, Parma has changed from a thriving agriculturally based economy to a city that began housing corporations like General Motors. Along with a mix in types of businesses, Parma has many ethnic groups like Ukrainians, Italians, Germans and Irish that help make a great mix of cultures.

So far you might not think of Parma as a place to visit but I hope to change your mind with these outstanding. If you are one that loves taking nature walks or spending time outside, there are plenty of parks for outdoor activities or you can even stop by the Stearns Homestead to visit a historic farm. Like more of the museum type adventures, then make sure you visit the Dunham Tavern Museum, Great Lakes Science Center, Ukrainian Museum Archives or even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. For the sports type person, there are plenty of golf courses around or possibly catch a baseball game at Progressive Field (previously known as Jacobs Field).

Being raised in a town that is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, it was only fitting to be encouraged to play an instrument and learn music. While in 2nd grade Marty chose the viola, then in 4th grade he added the tenor saxophone and then in the 9th grade he added the Bass, Guitar and Piano. With each year and each instrument, there came lessons and many hours of practice. Having the desire to be in a rock band so much, Marty told them he knew how to play bass before he had any clue of how to play. Paying off the new Kay Bass left no free money for a bass speaker. With needing a bass speaker, Marty made one from scratch. He remembers one time when his speakers were shaking so violently that he had to keep it from falling off the stage riser with one leg while trying to sing and play, “Sweet Home Alabama”.

As some songwriters may do their writing in an office, on the beach or somewhere along a mountain in a cabin, Marty prefers to do most of his writing while he is driving. He mentioned that the ideas just seem to flow every passing mile he drives. He has got into the great practice of writing that gnawing idea down and once it is written, it is out of his system, and he is able to move onto the next idea/thought.

Marty has found that his favorite thing to write about is songs about historical events. He has always liked learning about history as he was a History Major in College. The song “Renfro Valley Barn Dance” was a song he wrote as a tribute to Lile May Ledford, a clawhammer banjo and fiddle player from the late 1930’s. Lily May was the founding member of the Coon Creek Girls, one of the most famous all-female string bands. Couple other songs that he has written from past events are: “Appalachian River Song” that is about the Prestonsburg, Kentucky bus crash in 1958 and “Bloody Coal” that is largely inspired by the Harlan County Coal War in the 1930s.

The new album, “Kentucky Bluestar” features a song that he wrote titled “Cherokee” which is inspired by the Trail of Tears. The second song on the album is called “Daytona” and was written after going to a Daytona 500 race. With the inspiration from NASCAR, Marty Falle brought a forgotten race song ‘Superman Jimmie’ (Virgin on the Bluegrass album – 2021) back and it will have you grabbing your partner and heading to the dance floor.

As a newer artist, Marty feels that some of the best decision making he made was when he went to Nashville and listened to everything his producer told him to do. Jonathan Yudkin made a huge difference in Marty’s approach in recording music. Having a producer that believes in you and puts you in a position to succeed, you have to be like a sponge and soak it all in. If you are thinking the name Jonathan Yudkin sounds familiar, it might be because of the work he has done with Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Steven Tyler and Toby Keith. On his last two albums, Marty had the opportunity to work with a dream team consisting of Jonathan Yudkin, Rob Ikes, David Grier, Matt Menefee, Corey Walker, Michael Bub, Marty Slayton and Kim Parent.

Through the journey Marty has learned a lot and continues to learn every day. Marty would tell any new and up/coming artist that is a songwriter and wavering on playing their originals, “Stop playing cover songs and unlock the original artist that is inside of you”!

“Kentucky Bluestar” was selected as the cover of the June 2023 Bluegrass Standard Magazine. In May of 2023, you might have seen “Kentucky Bluestar” at #8 on the Top 50 APD Bluegrass / Folk Albums for April 2023 and #6 on The Bluegrass Today Singles Chart. While the song/album is doing good, Marty is as nervous as the next artist. Marty tries to look at everything through the realistic mindset of knowing that everyone is not going to like it all but he is fully committed to writing and producing original music. As US Naval Officer David Glasgow Farragut (during Civil War, 1864) said, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”, Marty gives his best with every song he writes.

I asked Marty which song on his new album was his favorite and his response was, “Ridin”. “Ridin” is about the seemingly insurmountable challenges and trying to find a way through the storm. When Marty sings this song, he feels it all the way to the marrow (bone). His feeling may be deep because of the personal connection but I agree with him in the fact that it is a great song.

Rapid fire questions –

What is your favorite saying/quote?Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge

What is your favorite type of car? Definitely muscle cars from late 60s/early 70s. My favorite is probably the 1970 Chevy Chevelle 454 SS.

Do you have a hobby outside of music? Watching NCAA and NFL Football

What is your favorite kind of Ice Cream? Sea salt caramel from Kilwins in South Carolina

What is your favorite book that you read or author that you like to read? Loves history and enjoys reading books about the American Civil War. Favorite book apart from The Bible is “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara.

What is your favorite movie line? “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Martin Brody from “Jaws”

Announcement questions –

Marty Falle has completed his fifth record, 2nd straight bluegrass record, titled “Kentucky Bluestar” and was joined by an All-Star collection of pickers. Marty is extremely excited about this album as he has written 10 of the 11 songs on it. “Kentucky Bluestar” was produced by Jonathan Yudkin and recorded at County Q Studio and Omi Studios in Nashville. The album cover was created by Disney artist – TJ Matousek.

The Band on the album consisted of:

Marty Falle – Lead and BG Vocals, Guitar
Carl Miner – Guitar 
Michael Bub – Acoustic Bass
Rob Ikes – Dobro 
Matt Menefee – Banjo
Jonathan Yudkin– Fiddle/ Mandolin
Marty Slayton (George Strait) – background vocals
Kim Parent (Brooks and Dunn) – background vocals

Marty Falle may not have any merch right now, but he has plenty of stuff to share with you on his website: