Rockland Road is many things. It’s a street near Nashville. It’s a studio where countless hit records have been recorded. It is a crossroads where country, gospel, pop, R&B and Americana music has thrived for years. It is a self-contained vocal-driven melodic band with a heritage as rich and authentic as its namesake. Six members, all sharing the last name Martin; representing four generations of musical heritage; all vocalists who play twenty-three instruments between them. Rockland Road is a powerhouse of soulful vocals blended with a pure, exuberant joy worthy of the literal and figurative blood that flows through their veins making them a family.
Rockland Road is a favorite secret within the industry. As they prepared to enter the studio for their forthcoming project, they were pitched songs from every direction. One song in particular, “Caroline,” slated to be their first single releasing on December 27, bombarded them from all sides. All unbeknownst to one another, no fewer than three friends in the industry considered them the only act that could give this song the life it deserved.
Hearing something special in the lyrics, and sensing something magical in the way it came to them, Rockland Road attacked the up-tempo and uplifting lost-love song with their signature, soaring six-part harmonies. They breathed a hand-clapping energy into the tune penned by award-winning songwriters Greg Barnhill, Reed Waddle and Stan Karcz. It will serve as the centerpiece of their forthcoming as-yet-untitled project.
Fueled by a mutual passion for many genres and longing for a fun, family-friendly musical experience for their kids, Paul and Jamie Martin began singing together in 2010 with their four children: March, Kell, Texas, and Tallant. Quickly realizing that the kids all showed an uncanny knack for hearing harmonies, as well as for playing instruments, they began performing shows together.
“Our house has always been like a live jukebox, with an all-you-can-play selection of musical instruments,” says Jamie. “Music completely engulfs our lives, so our kids have never known a day without it. And that’s just how they want it.”
“We are a real family, at home or on the road, and we knew there would be an unpredictable nature to working with our kids. But they were just filled with passion, truly breathing through the music we were creating,” says Paul. “It’s a given that we’re proud of them as parents, but, very quickly, we found ourselves appreciating the musical talent and the vocal skills that they contribute as fellow performers, not just as our kids. There was no other choice; we knew we had to do this with them.”
So where did it all begin? Grammy-winning artist Paul Martin, lead singer/guitarist of country-pop supergroup Exile, met and married Jamie Allen, daughter of Duane Allen of Country Music Hall of Fame members The Oak Ridge Boys. Individually and collectively, they were exposed early to a rich musical existence, and Paul and Jamie watched as each child demonstrated God-given musical talents early on. Regional performances began to boom, leading to appearances on national television shows like “The Huckabee Show,” The Oak Ridge Boys’ American Legion Christmas special, “The Marty Stuart Show,” “Country’s Family Reunion,” “Gaither Homecoming,” and “Larry’s Country Diner.” They’ve taken their stage show to venues as varied as the U.S. Library of Congress, the Country Music Cruise, the Grand Ole Opry, the White House, and countless fairs, festivals and performing arts centers across the country. Additionally, they’ve performed the National Anthem for many major NBA, MLB, and NCAA sporting events, including the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and Cleveland Cavaliers. After a rousing performance of “Elvira” to a packed house for The Oak Ridge Boys’ 2015 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Billboard Magazine heralded them as “singing to the rafters,” getting a crowd of seasoned performers and music industry folks to their feet.
They see every night spent onstage not just as a time to spread the simple joy they get from music. It’s not just another chance to share their songs and story. Every night is a blessed opportunity to take a new audience for a musical ride down the curving country backroads, the high-speed super highways, and the crowded city streets that have all converged to create the music known as Rockland Road.
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