MUNCIE, Ind. — Local artisan and native of Muncie, Mike Martin, returns home with a new album of the same name. Martin has spent most of the past decade on the road with his band The Beautiful Mess, making time to come home off-season to work on what he calls his “community punk rock grocery store” here in Muncie, The Common Market. .
After being voted “Country Americana Band of The Year” in Charleston, South Carolina in 2018, and nominated for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Video by the year in 2019, Martin was set to hit the freeway for a massive push for their country music brand across the country in 2020. Martin was scheduled to perform at a St. Paddy’s Day festival in Asheville, Carolina of the North on Tuesday, March 17 when they received the call that Covid 19 precautions were shutting down live music for the foreseeable future. It was Monday March 16. “I was watching the reality in front of all of us and thought I had to be home with my family right now,” said Martin, thinking back to what led to today.
While at home with his family, Martin and his family learned that his mother had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. “Being at home at that time with my mom and being able to attend her weekly treatments with her was a huge blessing for all of us. We are a close-knit family, and our matriarch needed support for the first time and was not its inexhaustible supply. We were faced with the reality that my mother is human; not Superwoman, ”Martin said.
“Suddenly the reality of who I was and where I come from, and the future of what it is was not something I took for granted. Who was I? Who am I and where did we come from, me and my parents? Why do I even sing country music? These are all questions I thought I knew the answers to, ”Martin added.
Martin and his band went to work on a new concept album that they just called “Home”. “We started to explore what the house really meant to us. We had been gone so long and had run so hard for the music that the house had become a place where we were, but was now in the back view in many ways, ”Martin said,“ Now with live music on. hold around the world, and our family seemingly on hold as we waited for the sequel with my mom, why we’re doing this was something I couldn’t get out of my mind. I knew the simple answer. I am who I am today thanks to my mother and all my family. That’s why I sing country music, because I grew up in this little country town where my mom still lives. This is who I am.”
At a time that seemed like the whole world was starting to wonder who they were and where they came from, Martin and his group noticed a longing in the American psyche. A desire to go home, to be at home. It was time to be with what is really important to you. The old adage “Home is where the heart is” really resonated with Martin. The new album ‘Home’ is a meditation on this subject. It’s a musical journey meant to bring you back to the place that made us who we are. “Like grandma’s house on Sunday,” Martin said.
In 38 minutes, The Beautiful Mess wants to bring you home; even for a little moment in time. Their goal is to tell all of us that the world is okay, we’re going to get there. Remember what made you who you are and what these people stood for is the home message. They will guide us to who we are meant to be. Music has always had the power to heal and unite, and that is the purpose of ‘Home’; to unite us to ourselves.
Martin enlisted the help of local artist and sound engineer Stuart Cotton to record the new album here at his home in the Common Market. After the market closed, Martin and a handful of local musicians would gather at the back and record all the tracks on the new record right here in Muncie. When the world started to open up, Martin took the newly recorded tracks to Folly Beach, SC to work with his longtime engineer Will Evans. There they overdubbed and mixed the new album when the chance of a lifetime presented itself to Martin. One of his musical heroes, Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers, comedian and musician Steve Martin’s band, was in town for a two-night run at the College of Charleston. Martin had interviewed Graham for his radio show ‘The Outlaw Country Kitchen’, which airs on 105.5 FM in Asheville, and the two had talked about working together because of their love of country music. Graham Sharp is a Grammy Award-winning bluegrass artist, and having time to come and record on the new record seemed like a huge demand. But, Martin asked anyway. What can that hurt? To Martin’s surprise, Graham said, “Sure, can you pick me up tomorrow morning?” I have a few hours before the sound check today.
With a 1928 Gibson banjo in hand, actually owned by the legendary Steve Martin (“No Relationship”, Mike Martin jokes), Graham Sharp showed up to Fairweather Studios in Folly Beach, SC to lend his musical talent and grace. to Martin’s new record. ‘Home’.
After two years of planning, recording and planning, Mike Martin & The Beautiful Mess will release their new album ‘Home’ on October 23 at Elm Street Brewing Co. The event begins at 7pm.
The release is supported by two album release concerts, one in Martin’s hometown, Muncie, IN at Elm Street Brewing Company on October 23, and the other on October 30 at Burns Alley Tavern in Charleston, SC. , a few blocks from where Grammy award-winning banjo player Graham Sharp played at the College of Charleston. Graham will join the Beautiful Mess for a co-poster that night to support his new album “Truer Picture”, and he will also be a Beautiful Mess for the night at the banjo.
“My goal with the new record is just to give people a little more hope and love in their hearts,” Martin added, “I think it’s the best thing we can do for people in this moment Let them know that they are loved and that they are not alone.
Martin and his pals from The Beautiful Mess invite you to join them on a soul journey home. You can find their new album at home.hearnow.com or watch them on the go. “My mom is recovering and remains my biggest inspiration,” Martin said. “Sit back and listen to the album cover to cover, it will bring you home even for a moment. The idea came to me while listening to” Red Headed Stranger “by Willie Nelson, credited as the debut country concept album. When in doubt I ask myself ‘What would Willie do?’ I think Willie would say, let’s hit the road, “Martin concluded,” This is the only other place where I really feel at home .