Ever been to the circus before? The bright colors,the band of characters, the storied backgrounds…just plain fun! So what happens when you combine The Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Stuart, Exile, and The Grand Ole Opry, with 4 kids ranging in age from 4 to 13? Representing four generations of musical heritage, you get the Martin Family Circus!
Consisting of Paul and Jamie Martin, and their four children, March (13), Kell (10), Texas (5), and Tallant (4), the Martin Family Circus may not be a three-ring show in the traditional sense; but what you get from them holds true to the family-fun, happy atmosphere that only a circus can bring. With tight harmonies and a wide variety of acoustic, melody-driven songs, ranging from Toto and The Beach Boys, to Johnny Cash and The Staple Singers, the Martin Family Circus leaves even the hardest music critic satisfied and amazed by the musicality of such young children. Their first CD, titled “In Training,” represents their own favorite artists, as well as honors their rich musical roots.
So where did it all begin? Grammy Award Winning artist Paul Martin, AKA “Apostle Paul” from Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, and the hit TV show “The Marty Stuart Show” on RFD-TV (also former lead singer/guitarist of country/pop group Exile) met and married Jamie Allen Martin, daughter of Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys & Norah Lee Allen of the Grand Ole Opry’s own Carol Lee Singers. They began raising a family that would be exposed to a rich musical heritage from birth. Each of their four children seemed to possess God-given talents, along with the same passion for music as their parents and grandparents. March and his brother Kell flocked to their parents’ recording studio early-on, learning to play guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. Little sister Texas showed talent at the age of 3 for writing songs and singing classic movie melodies, while baby sister Tallant was drawn to the microphone as a toddler.
After several years of singing for fun with the kids (dubbed by Vince Gill as the “Martin Family Circus”), Jamie and Paul decided to set their focus on teaching them how to harmonize and developing their instrumental skills. They spent the summer of 2010 sitting on their patio, making homemade ice cream and working on songs with challenging harmonies. Making sure the children gained a vast appreciation for all genres of music, they learned anything from traditional cowboy music of the Sons Of The Pioneers, to classic rock/pop, to modern day Contemporary Christian artists like Steve Fee. Those practices soon led to family performances around the region.
“It’s very humbling and exciting to be standing on the Ryman stage, watching the crowd go crazy for your children. Still, we never lose sight of the fact that we want to keep them grounded and thankful—and to bring some light and a smile to folks along the way,” says Paul.